By Tim Stannard
Eric Olhats accuses Messi of running "reign of terror" at Barcelona where he is "emperor and monarch"
At least there were a few hours of good vibes coming out of Barcelona for once after Saturday's stress-relieving win against Betis.
After that, the unfortunate news of Ansu Fati missing the next four months of action with a torn meniscus put a damper on things.
And then on Tuesday, some comments - well-timed with the news vacuum of the international break - from the former agent of Antoine Griezmann will certainly raise a few eyebrows with dramatic claims that Lionel Messi has been running a 'reign of terror' at the Camp Nou.
The comments came from Eric Olhats, the man who was Griezmann's agent until 2016 and the figure who discovered the footballer. Speaking to 'France Football', Olhats has come out on the defense of Griezmann to leave a nice dose of tension between his ex-client and Messi after the end of the international break.
Griezmann joined Barcelona in the summer of 2019 - a year after turning down the chance of a move with a 30-minute long documentary no less - and Messi has been against the arrival ever since according to Olhats, and that's the direct cause of Griezmann's iffy form.
"Last season, when Griezmann arrived, Messi didn’t speak to him and didn’t pass him the ball," revealed Olhats, "he’s at the same time emperor and monarch, and he didn’t see Antoine’s arrival with a good eye."
Not quite done with that, Griezmann's former representative added for good measure that "his attitude has been deplorable, he made him feel that."
Extra spice for Barcelona's next match in LaLiga which sees Luis Suarez up against Lionel Messi as Atletico Madrid host the Camp Nou club on Saturday, November 21.
Chaos and confusion in latest international break
The first set of international break matches are set to get underway on Wednesday and it's fair to say that the process is going to be complicated due to COVID-19 restrictions especially in Europe, not to mention over-stretched soccer players already breaking down.
Danish mink of all things might see England playing Iceland in Albania for a match, while the same issue prevents British-based Swedish players from joining up to play with the national team against Denmark.
Italy's COVID-19 restrictions leaves all sorts of confusion for players based at Fiorentina, Genoa, Roma, Sassuolo and Inter due to local health authorities banning international travel after cases arose in these particular teams.
This issue is particularly acute for Serbia, which has a Euro 2020 playoff clash against Scotland on Thursday, but the coach Ljubisa Tumbakovic doesn't yet know who he will have available for the game.
AFCON 2021 qualifying gets underway on beIN SPORTS
Despite these challenges, beIN SPORTS is bringing extensive coverage of AFCON 2021 qualifying which gets underway on Wednesday, November 11 with Sadio Mane's Senegal kicking things off in a match against Guinea-Bissau.
The Sports Burst live show will be looking ahead at a week of action at 12PM ET / 9AM PT.