Antoine Griezmann has claimed Lionel Messi is the ‘LeBron James of football’, admitting his excitement at playing alongside the Argentine star.
Griezmann completed a £107.6m move to Barcelona from Atletico Madrid last week having scored 133 goals in the Spanish capital.
And after finally bringing years of transfer speculation to an end, the Frenchman is now looking forward to the prospect of sharing the pitch with Messi – many people’s pick for the greatest player of all time having scored an incredible 603 senior goals for the Blaugrana, winning 20 major honours – who he compares to LA Lakers Basketball star, James.
“The thing that makes me happiest is playing with a partner like him,” Griezmann said at a press conference. “Messi will be a legend for my son and my son’s children. He’s like LeBron James for basketball.
“I want to be an important player at this great club and try to win La Liga, the Champions League and Copa del Rey, which is what I’m missing on my list.”
Having rejected a move to the Nou Camp last summer with a controversial documentary produced by Gerard Pique’s production company, Griezmann’s transfer has seen him become a villain in Madrid, while he’ll also have to work hard to win the favour of the Barcelona fanbase.
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Even so, Griezmann insists he doesn’t regret making the documentary and promised to make amends on the pitch.
“I’ve done some bad things in my past and I’ve never regretted it because it’s something I wanted to do at the time,” he said.
“I wanted to show what is not seen and I have not toyed with both parties. The most important thing is that we are now together. You have to ask for forgiveness, for some, it will be on the field.”
When asked whether Luis Suarez and Messi could be annoyed with him over the ordeal, he added: “They could be, but I think that with the assistance that I can give them, we can fix everything.”
Messi the G.O.A.T? Five key things to know…
- Messi made his senior Barca debut against Espanyol on 16 October 2004.
- Since then, he’s scored 603 goals in 687 appearances.
- Messi has helped the Blaugrana win 20 major honours, including four Champions Leagues.
- The 32-year-old has scored 68 goals in 136 caps for Argentina.
- However, he has been unable to secure major silverware at international level.