Antoine Griezmann hits back at 'damaging' Lionel Messi comments: 'I have a lot of respect for him'

French forward's former agent accused the Argentine of running a 'reign of terror' at Barcelona

Antoine Griezmann has hit out at his former agent trying to cause "damage" to his relationship with Lionel Messi after the French forward dismissed claims of a rift between the Barcelona teammates.

Earlier this month, Griezmann's former agent Eric Olhats said Messi's "reign of terror" had made life difficult for Griezmann since he joined Barcelona last year.

Meanwhile, Griezmann's uncle said it was not easy for his nephew to play in the same team as the six-time Ballon d'Or winner.

Messi hit back last week, saying he was tired of being blamed for problems at Barcelona, and Griezmann said he could no longer remain silent on the matter.

"I have been putting up with comments for a long while and now it's time to say enough," he was quoted as saying in an interview with Movistar.

"My agent is my sister, but she doesn't speak. Neither do my parents. As no one speaks, Eric offers an opinion but that can do a lot of damage and create doubts about my relationship with Leo. Leo knows I have a lot of respect for him. I learn from him.

"My uncle doesn't know how football works. A journalist wants a phrase out of you ... I told Leo I have nothing to do with them. I don't speak to them."