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'Leo and Grizi get along' – Pique dismisses talk of Messi and Griezmann rift

12:51 GMT 31/10/2019
Antoine Griezmann Lionel Messi Barcelona
The former Spain defender has been quick to play down rumours regarding his two attacking teammates

Gerard Pique insists Barcelona stars Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann have a perfectly normal relationship.

Earlier this month, new signing Griezmann admitted to finding it "difficult" to connect with Barca's superstar captain as neither of them are naturally big talkers.

It had been rumoured Messi, who hoped for Neymar's return, objected to the club's pursuit of the France international ahead of the Brazilian forward.

Messi has since branded that a "lie" and insisted he has no problem with Griezmann, a claim now supported by Pique.

The experienced centre-back told Spanish broadcaster Cadena SER the pair are on "very good" terms.

"Here, we magnify everything very much," said the 32-year-old former Spain defender.

"Leo and Grizi get along, the same as Leo and [Ousmane] Dembele get along, or Leo with Pedro or [David] Villa. It's good. With Luis [Suarez and Messi], they are almost like brothers.

"Just because he doesn't get along [with Griezmann] like he does with Luis doesn't mean they get along badly."

Messi and Suarez starred for Barca in their last outing on Tuesday, a comprehensive 5-1 win over Real Valladolid.

The Spanish champions sit top of La Liga, a point ahead of Real Madrid, but there will no showdown between the bitter rivals until December 18 following the postponement of the season's first Clasico.

The decision to move the match, originally scheduled to be played at Camp Nou on October 26, was made amid civil unrest and protests in Catalonia.

Barcelona-born Pique believes the decision to move the game was a mistake.

"My opinion is that it was not necessary," he added.

"It magnified a problem that wasn't there. Espanyol played Villarreal that week and nothing happened. I think that for the league and for the clubs it was not the best.

"I think the league, as a competition, and the clubs have to take the bull by the horns and ensure that the show goes on."

Next up for Ernesto Valverde’s side is a trip to 10th-placed Levante on Saturday before they take on Czech side Slavia Prague at Camp Nou in the Champions League on Tuesday.