Antoine Griezmann Reveals Why He ‘Can’t Wait’ to Play Alongside Lionel Messi at Barcelona

?Following his €120m move to Barcelona this summer, Antoine Griezmann has confessed that he cannot wait to play and train alongside his new team mate Lionel Messi.

Messi is currently being afforded an extended break due to his involvement with Argentina’s Copa America campaign earlier this summer, but will join up with the squad after they have returned from a pre-season trip to Japan.


Speaking to ?Marca, Griezmann admitted that he is excited for ?Messi’s return, saying: “Yes, it will be amazing [to play alongside him]. 

“I’m excited to see what he’s like day to day, what he’s like in training, [I want to] catch him doing things in training that I will try to repeat or do in my own way and get to know him on and off the pitch. I can’t wait for him to arrive. I will be ready to do whatever it takes: for him, for the club and for the players.”

Griezmann was the main man at ?Atletico Madrid, but for the Blaugrana he will probably have to adjust to playing in the shadow of ?Barcelona‘s all-time top goalscorer.

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The Frenchman’s natural position is similar to that of Messi, but when questioned on whether he foresaw any problems in his relationship with the Argentine, Griezmann was not too worried, as he said: “Well, I’m not a difficult person. 

“I like to be around people, to enjoy their company and I’m sure that we’ll get on really well.”

Barca continue their pre-season preparations on Tuesday against ?Chelsea in Midori-ku, Japan, but the first game in which fans will get to see Griezmann and Messi team up may come against ?Arsenal on August 4 at Camp Nou.

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Barcelona vs Chelsea Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

?This pre-season clash sees La Liga champions Barcelona face off against Europa League winners Chelsea in the Rakuten Cup on Tuesday.

The match will be Barcelona’s first runabout of pre-season and with a number of their B team players called up into the travelling squad, it’s a great opportunity for the youngsters to impress ahead of the La Liga season.

Chelsea boss Lampard may look to tinker with his squad to find the winning formula as the Blues prepare for the Premier League season with a transfer ban looming the club. 

If previous meetings between these two are anything to go by, Tuesday’s match looks set to be a cracker. 


Here is 90min’s preview of the game.


Where to Watch

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When Is Kick Off? Tuesday 23 July
What Time Is Kick Off? 11:30 (BST)
Where Is it Played? Saitama Stadium
TV Channel/Live Stream? Chelsea TV/ESPN 2
Referee? TBC

Team News

A number of key players have been left out of the travelling ?Barcelona squad due to their participation in the Copa America. Ernesto Valverde has given extended leave to the likes of ?Lionel Messi, Philippe Coutinho and ?Luis Suarez.

Kawasaki Frontale v Chelsea - Preseason Friendly

For Chelsea, both Tammy Abraham and goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga missed out against Kawasaki Frontale through illness.

Midfielder N’Golo Kante has ?returned to the UK as he steps up his rehabilitation for a knee injury suffered at the end of last season. The Frenchmen has been unable to play a part in Chelsea’s pre-season thus far.

Chelsea are also without ?Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi, ?Willian and ?Antonio Rudiger as they continue their rehabilitation from long-term injuries. 


Predicted Lineups

Barcelona Neto; Semedo, Todibo, Umtiti, Alba; Monchu, Busquets, De Jong; Malcom, Abe, Griezmann.
Chelsea Caballero; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Christensen, Alonso; Barkley, Mount, Bakayoko; Pedro, Kenedy, Giroud. 

Recent Form

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?Barcelona’s game against ?Chelsea will be their first pre-season fixture of the year. The Catalan giants ended the season with only one win in their last five, including a shock 4-0 loss to ?Liverpool that sent them crashing out of the ?Champions League. ?

Ernesto Valverde

?Chelsea have had a mixed bag of results in their recent fixtures. The Blues suffered their first defeat under Lampard in a 1-0 loss to Japanese side Kawasaki Frontale. Despite this pre-season blip, Chelsea ended last season well, securing the Europa League title after beating rivals ?Arsenal in Baku. 

Barcelona Chelsea
Barcelona 1-2 Valencia (25/5) Kawasaki Frontale 1-0 Chelsea (19/7)
Eibar 2-2 Barcelona (19/5) St Patrick’s Athletic 0-4 Chelsea (13/7)
Barcelona 2-0 Getafe (12/5) Bohemians 1-1 Chelsea (10/7)
Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona (7/5) Chelsea 4-1 Arsenal (29/5)
Celta Vigo 2-0 Barcelona (4/5) New England Revolution 0-3 Chelsea (16/5)

Prediction

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Barcelona look set to field a team missing a number of key senior players, whereas the Chelsea lineup will be formidable and eager to avenge their loss against Kawasaki Frontale. 

A tight encounter is expected, but Chelsea might just edge it.

Prediction: Barcelona 1-2 Chelsea.

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PSG Sporting Director Claims ‘No Concrete Offer’ Has Been Made for Barcelona Target Neymar

Another twist in the Neymar saga? Well I never. 

The Brazilian has made no secret about his desire to return to Barcelona just two years after joining the French side. Despite scoring 51 goals in 57 games in France, a combination of personal and injury issues as well as the club’s failure in the Champions League have meant the move is perceived as a failure, and it is clear he already wants out. 

Reports last week claimed ?Barca had indeed submitted a huge bid to secure his return, worth £90m plus PSG’s pick of two players, but the sporting director of the Ligue 1 champions has thrown a spanner in the works, saying that they have received no ‘concrete offers’ for the Brazilian.

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“Honestly, there is nothing different than the last time I talked about [Neymar],” he said via Le Parisien (as per ?Calcio Mercato).

“Nothing has changed since then and there is no concrete offer for him. Today he is a player of PSG but we will see what will happen in the future.”

While ?Neymar has been the major story in Paris this summer, Les Parisiens have also been busy, as ever, on the signings front. They have brought in five so far, including Pablo Sarabia and former ?Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera.

Leonardo, however, also said that as things stand, we shouldn’t expect too much more incoming business, after discussions with coach Thomas Tuchel. 

Thomas Tuchel

“We talked a lot with Tuchel about where the team lacked in the past, but now I think this squad is almost complete,” he added.

“It’s already very competitive. It has a bit of everything from young players to very experienced players. However, the market is still open and we will evaluate all the possibilities.”

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Antoine Griezmann Reveals He Cried Tears of Joy After Completing Move to Barcelona

Antoine Griezmann has admitted to crying tears of joy upon his move to Barcelona from Atletico Madrid earlier this month.

After months of speculation and countless updates regarding the Griezmann’s situation, the French striker finally joined Barcelona after La Blaugrana activated his €120m release clause.

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Speaking in a recent interview with ?Marca, Griezmann was asked to comment on how he has found life at ?Barcelona, to which he responded:  “Good, really good. With lots of stress and pressure to finalise it all. I just wanted to end my holiday and start this new challenge.

“The dressing room have welcomed me very well: players, coaching staff and doctors and, for the moment, I’m enjoying it and let’s hope I can get enough confidence to speak, be myself and enjoy.”

Griezmann also revealed his initial reaction after the move was completed, adding: “Well, I called my father and I started to cry with happiness because I was there, everything was done. I was with my friends, my wife and my children and it was an incredible moment.”


Atletico Madrid supporters have reacted poorly to Griezmann’s departure, ?recently defacing the 28-year-old’s plaque outside the Wanda Metropolitano, and he went on to admit that he is expecting a hostile reception when he returns to face his former side.

“I know there will be whistling. It’s part of football: they really loved me and when someone leaves, it can hurt. It was like that at Real Sociedad: my first visit back wasn’t easy, but I will always have La Real and Atleti in my heart because they gave me so much.”

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Barcelona Enter Race to Sign Moise Kean as Juventus Youngster’s Future Remains Uncertain

Barcelona are the latest side to be linked with a potential approach for Moise Kean, as the Juventus youngster’s future remains increasingly uncertain.

Despite enjoying an impressive breakout season with Juventus, Kean has been touted with a move away from the Italian champions this season with the likes of Inter, Ajax, Borussia Dortmund and Everton all being cited as potential suitors for the 19-year-old.

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Now, according to a report from Italian journalist ?Gianluca Di Marzio, ?Barcelona have entered the fray and could be prepared to pay the €25m to €30m fee ?Juventus are currently demanding. If Barcelona were successful in their quest to sign the Italian forward, then they would consider sending him out on loan to Sevilla.

However, in contrast to those reports, ?Mundo Deportivo are suggesting that Sevilla are not interested in pursuing a loan deal for Kean, as they are instead focused on keeping Wissam Ben Yedder at the club. 

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?Manchester United have been eyeing up a move for the French striker and 

Sevilla-based outlet La Colina de Nervion have gone as far as to say that he has agreed personal terms with the Red Devils. 

While Juventus will be willing to let Kean go this summer, they would still be looking to include a buy-back clause to ensure that they can bring him back to Turin if he achieves his full potential elsewhere.

Moise Kean

Juventus have already been busy in the transfer market so far this summer, securing deals for Matthijs de Ligt, Adrien Rabiot and Cristian Romero, but they are yet to strengthen their options up top, which could indicate that they have a number of replacements for Kean in their sights.

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