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BARCELONA | GRIEZMANN

Griezmann: "Luis Suárez phoned to welcome me to Barcelona; Messi hasn't yet though"

Griezmann spoke about leaving Atlético: "I did the best I could. I wanted it to all work out as well as possible - everything else is their side of things".

Griezmann: "Luis Suárez phoned to welcome me to Barcelona; Messi hasn't yet though"
KAZUHIRO NOGI AFP

Antoine Griezmann has opened up about the flak he has received following his departure from Atlético and says he is settling in at Barcelona, whose pre-season preparations continue this week in Japan.

Do you still think you went about leaving Atlético in the right way?

Yes. I did it in the best way I possibly could - with El Cholo, my team mates and the fans. I wanted it to all turn out well, everything else is their side of things.

How have you been getting on with your new team mates, have you spoke with Messi and Suárez over the phone yet?

To be honest, I didn't have a very good start because I got nutnegged twice in my first training session - Rakitic did one of them. Luckily I've learned my lesson. As for the phonecalls, Messi still hasn't called me but Suárez has. Congratulated me and welcomed me on board.

Don't meg me - Antoine Griezmann

Slower build-up play

Do you think Barcelona have to focus more on attacking than defending?

At Atlético, we attacked much quicker; at Barcelona, they have more patience when they're on the ball. I really like that style of play and I think I can bring something to it too.

Are you aware that the RFEF have opened a case against you and Barcelona over the buy-out clause?

I've heard something about it but it's not something I want to dwell on. I gave everything I had at Atlético - it was my home for many years. I'm relaxed about it.

Barcelona training in Tokyo today

Barcelona's forwards

Is there much talk about Neymar in th dressing room?

No. And besides, we have other players such as Dembélé, Coutinho and Malcom.

How is you relationship with Cholo Simeone?

Excellent. For me, he was always more than just a coach. Oyr wives are friends, our kids too… He has been a very important person in my life - both on the sporting side and personally.