French forward Antoine Griezmann said he is relieved to have finally signed for Barcelona.
The football star says he will win over Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez with assists if there is any animosity over his change of heart last summer.
Messi backed the possible signing of Griezmann last year, saying the Atletico Madrid attacker was “one of the best” players around, and that he wanted to play with the best.
But the Argentine refused to answer a question about the Frenchman ahead of the Copa del Rey final in May and it was thought that he and Suarez, who last year told Griezmann he “doesn’t know what it means to be Uruguayan”, were not thrilled about his possible arrival.
Asked if he thought there might be some ill-feeling from the two South Americans, Griezmann said: “There could be. I will see when I’m with them. But with assists, everything can be fixed.”
Griezmann ‘liked’ a tweet from Mundo Deportivo after his signing which featured a picture of Messi and the French forward and said: “like this if you can’t wait to see these two play together.”#
“What makes me happiest of all is to share mate (tea) with him,” Griezmann said of Messi at his presentation on Sunday. “I’m happy. In the NBA, LeBron [James] is an example for me. In football, it’s him. He’s a legend and for me it’s a huge joy to play be his side.”
The 28-year-old said he had no regrets about the documentary, La Decisión, in which he revealed his choice to snub Barca and stay at Atletico last summer, and revealed he would “say sorry on the pitch” if he has to.
“I have done some things badly,” he said. [But] I have never regretted La Decisión. I wanted to show people what is not seen. I didn’t play with either side and in the end, we are together and that’s the important thing. If I have to say sorry, I will do it on the pitch, which is where I speak the best.”
And he added: “It has been a little stressful. It has been just a few days, but they have been intense. I wanted to come here and sign and now it’s done.”
Griezmann also revealed he had spoken to Ernesto Valverde and said he would have further conversations with the Barca boss about his position, although he admitted he was willing to play in any of the forward roles.
“I have spoken to him a little,” he said. “But tomorrow we will train more on tactical questions. I have worked to become an important player in any position. I can play on the left, on the right or in the centre. The important thing is to do well for the team.”
Earlier, the World Cup winner had thanked previous clubs Real Sociedad and Atletico for their role in his development, while he admitted the nature of his departure has left him a little said.
“It’s always difficult to leave your home,” he said. “But I gave everything and I have no reason to be ashamed.
“This is a new challenge. I don’t want to be in a comfort zone, I want to find my place: to be in the starting XI and to win La Liga, the Copa [del Rey] and the Champions League, which are missing from my [list of] honours.”
Source: Evening Standard