Griezmann still 'getting to know' Messi at Barcelona and expects relationship to 'improve over time'

Antoine Griezmann has opened up on his relationship with Lionel Messi at Barcelona, dismissing any rumours of discord between them at the start of his spell in Catalunya. 

After five successful years on Atletico Madrid's books, Griezmann completed a £107 million ($138m) move to Barca in June, bringing to an end one of 2019's longest-running transfer sagas.

The World Cup winner was expected to add a dimension to the Blaugrana attack which has been lacking since Neymar joined Paris Saint Germain in 2017, but he has endured a difficult first few months at Camp Nou.

Griezmann has only managed to contribute a modest four goals and three assists in 12 La Liga outings, and it has been suggested that Messi has not yet warmed to his new Barca colleague's presence in the starting XI.

The Argentina international and Suarez have always enjoyed a strong understanding on and off the pitch, with Griezmann still in the middle of an adjustment period at his new club.

The 28-year-old is eager to get to know his strike partners better, however, and has already been out to dinner with the South American duo to build up a stronger rapport.

"I'm really shy and I'm not very good at talking to people," Griezmann told UEFA.com.

"I'm not the type of person to start conversations. But Leo, Luis and I are getting to know each other and we've already gone for dinner together.

"Our relationship will only improve over time, and it's clear that what happens will only make us feel more comfortable on the pitch."

Antoine Griezmann, Lionel Messi, Barcelona vs Villarreal

Barcelona beat Leganes 2-1 at Estadio Municipal de Butarque on Saturday, to remain top of La Liga on goal difference ahead of Real Madrid after 13 fixtures.

Messi contributed his fifth assist of the season at the weekend, and already has eight goals to his name from eight appearances despite dealing with persistent fitness issues in recent months.

Griezmann went on to express his admiration towards the 32-year-old magician, adding: "We won't see a player like him in the next 40 years.

"What he does is incredible. It's a real delight to see him play."

Next up for Barca is a crucial home fixture against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Wednesday, where a win will seal their progress to the knockout stages.