Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde praised the partnership between Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann: “They have spent many hours together.”
Luis Suarez, Messi and Griezmann all scored for the hosts in Wednesday’s 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, with Jadon Sancho netting a late consolation for the German side.
Griezmann replaced Ousmane Dembele – who sustained yet another muscular injury – in the 25th minute of Wednesday night’s clash at the Camp Nou.
Last month, French outlet Le10 Sport claimed that the two have not clicked since Griezmann arrived from Atletico Madrid this summer, and sensationally claim that he could even be a makeweight in a future deal to take Neymar to the Camp Nou.
Griezmann was a summer arrival at Barcelona – who triggered his €120m release clause at Atleti – but Wednesday night was just his fifth goal in 17 appearances for Valverde’s side.
“They have spent many hours together, they understand each other well,” Valverde told reporters after the game, as cited by Diario Sport.
“They know where they have to be unmarked and when to pass, they coincide their play and they get it right because they are also very talented.
“Messi is an extraordinary passer, he knows when to time the ball and with Griezmann they can understand well because he makes very good runs and they complement each other.
“Dembele’s injury? Let's see: I know it is a hamstring injury, of course it is a setback. He is very hurt because they he has now suffered several injuries in a row. We try to take care of him.”
Griezmann had started the first four Champions League games but curiously, his first European goal for Ernesto Valverde’s side arrived after coming on as a substitute.
The triumph secured the Blaugrana’s safe passage to the last 16 of the competition and confirmed their status as group winners – which could be significant in next month’s draw.