FRENCH football legend Christophe Dugarry has apologized groveling after calling Lionel Messi “semi-autistic”.
Dugarry, 48, made rash comments to RMC Sport while discussing Antoine Griezmann’s situation in Barcelona.
The former Atletico Madrid man, 29, failed to shine at Nou camp, and Dugarry wondered if it had anything to do with playing alongside Messi, 33, in attack .
Dugarry said: “Griezmann has lost confidence, his performance is not good.
“It’s true that Messi could give him a few more passes, but frankly it doesn’t shock me.
“Griezmann loses the ball, he plays poorly. He can’t just go to Messi to solve their problems.
“Griezmann is afraid of whom?” Of a child 1.50 m (tall) and half autistic?
“All you have to do is slap him if there is a problem. ”
Dugarry faced a huge backlash for his comments and RMC Sport quickly removed him from their podcast.
Dugarry, who won the World Cup and the Euro with France, has now apologized for his remarks.
He tweeted, “I sincerely apologize for the magnitude and the response to my comments on Messi.
“I didn’t want to stigmatize people with autism disorders, that was not my intention.
“I apologize to the people I have offended and I will do it again on (RMC broadcast) Team Duga tonight.”
Dugarry has won 55 caps for his country in a 17-year player career.
He started in Bordeaux before failing at AC Milan and Barcelona.
Dugarry revived his career in Marseille before returning to Bordeaux.
He even had a brief stint in the Premier League with Birmingham before retiring from Qatar SC – despite the fact that he hadn’t made a single appearance for them.
Meanwhile, Messi scored the 700th goal of his professional career for Barcelona in their 2-2 draw with Atletico on Tuesday.
He is considered by many to be the best footballer in history, with ten championship titles, four championship leagues and six gold balls.