Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann has confirmed that Barcelona star Lionel Messi blocked his transfer to the Camp Nou during the summer transfer window.
Griezmann has been strongly linked with Barcelona move in the summer with Messi and club president Josep Bartomeu had all praised the Frenchman.
Meanwhile, the Catalan side were reportedly willing to pay his £89m release clause to sign the France international.
But 27-year-old has eventually decided to stay at Atletico and has come out with a video explaining his decision to stay in the Spanish capital after the World Cup in Russia.
With Messi is the face of Barcelona, the former Real Sociedad ace is reportedly told that he will play second fiddle to the Argentina star – which makes him change his mind.
“Was it hard to refuse Barca? It was very difficult,” Griezmann told Canal Plus.
“You have Barca who wants you, who calls you, who sends messages.”
“But then there is the club where you are, where you are an important player and where they build a project around you.”
“[And] subconsciously, being Messi’s lieutenant may have played a part.”
“But my team-mates and people at the club [Atleti] did everything, they came to talk to me, they increased my salary.”
“They did everything to show that it was my home and that I shouldn’t leave.”
“It was really complicated times, especially for my wife where I woke her up at 3am to talk about it!”
Griezmann joined Atletico Madrid in 2014 from Real Sociedad and has since scored 118 goals in 225 appearances.