LIONEL MESSI is part of the reason why Antoine Griezmann rejected a move to Barcelona during the summer.
Barcelona were interested in the Frenchman however he decided to stay put at Atletico Madrid.
He had seemed set for a move however released a video after the World Cup explaining his decision to stay in the Spanish capital.
Messi is arguably the greatest player in the world and many outlets report that he is a key decision maker at Barcelona.
You have Barca who wants you, who calls you, who sends messages.
“But then there is the club where you are, where you are an important player and where they build a project around you.
“[And] subconsciously, being Messi’s lieutenant may have played a part.
“But my team-mates and people at the club [Atleti] did everything, they came to talk to me, they increased my salary.
“They did everything to show that it was my home and that I shouldn’t leave.
“It was really complicated times, especially for my wife where I woke her up at 3am to talk about it!”
Many have tipped Griezmann for this year’s Ballon d’Or, with Lionel Messi also a contender.
Griezmann has winning the World Cup on his side as he scored in the final and also won the Bronze Ball for being the third-best player in the tournament.
And he recently admitted he thinks he should at least be in the top three for the gong.
“Comparing 2016 and this year, for me I have to be in the top three,” Griezmann told L’Equipe.
“In 2016, I lost two finals and was in the top three. This time I have won three finals.
“(It would) Not (be) unfair, but I would wonder what more I could do. I have won three trophies, stood out at decisive moments, but it is not me who votes.
“I think about it, especially the closer I get to it. The Ballon d’Or is a prestigious award, and it is the highest you can go as a player.”