BARCELONA (Reuters) - Barcelona were surprised and upset at Gerard Pique’s involvement in making the television documentary in which Antoine Griezmann revealed he had rejected Barca to stay at Atletico Madrid, the La Liga champions’ vice-president Jordi Mestre said on Tuesday.
France forward Griezmann signed a new contract with Atletico on Monday until 2023 after announcing he had resisted an offer to join Barca in a documentary called “The Decision”, produced by Kosmos, the production company owned by Barca defender Pique.
“We have told Pique that his participation (in the documentary) has surprised and upset the club and the supporters,” Mestre said at the presentation of former Barca player Eric Abidal as the club’s new sporting director.
“We respect Griezmann’s decision to sign a new contract with Atletico as we respect any player’s decision about their future. We want players who are committed to Barca and who want to succeed here.
“But we regret that the club’s members were disillusioned by the way things were conducted and the broadcasting of the final decision,” he added.
“We’re are going to speak with Pique internally and we won’t make any more comments in public about this.”
Questions about Griezmann peppered the presentation of Abidal, who will be tasked with buying and selling players for next season to help Barca’s bid to defend the Liga title and improve on their recent failure to win the Champions League.
“I think the decision is his, I don’t want to get into a debate, there were two options, yes or now, but the important thing is what the club think and we’re not here to talk about a player, but to build a good team,” said Abidal on Griezmann rejecting Barca.
Abidal was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2011 while playing for Barca but overcame the disease and lifted the Champions League trophy that year after they beat Manchester United in the final.
Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Ed Osmond