Junior explains how Lionel Messi reacted to his old tweets about him

 El lateral quitó hierro al asunto y reconoció que el argentino posiblemente siquiera lo supiese | Jordi Gil / Rubén Moreno

Have you stopped using social media since you arrived at Barça? 

Jordi Gil

@jordigil

No. When you arrive at places such as this, of this magnitude, somebody else uses them. But I won't stop.

Have you crossed paths with Messi yet? 

Of course. I see him every day in the changing room. I know you're asking this because of the old tweets I made but that's in the past and we've squashed that. It isn't something I want to make a bigger deal out of.

Leo was upset about them?

I don't think he even knew. I was a kid who came through the academy at Betis and I don't think Messi is going to care about that.

Was it a youthful mistake as was the case with Dembele?

I've only been here a short time and haven't spoken much with Ousmane but he looks like a phenomenal person. Generally speaking, the dressing room is quite close. Everyone has welcomed me to the club. With Ousmane, we haven't spoken a lot because he's with the French guys. They speak amongst themselves so I haven't had the chance to get to know him yet.

Junior Fripo, en el reportaje realizado para SPORT en la Ciutat Esportiva | Javi Ferrándiz

People talk a lot about your tweets towards Messi but you've also praised Guardiola a lot.

Pep is the best coach in the world. His Barça was the best and I hope this one is even better, it would mean we're on the right track, but Pep's team was the best in history.

How are you adapting to life at Barça? Griezmann said he was nutmegged twice in his first training session...

He was luckier than me! I was nutmegged three times on the first day. Everything is different at Barça, the players are really good. Honestly, it feels great to train alongside them.

What has Valverde asked of you?

In attack, he hasn't asked for anything that I didn't already do. He told me I have everything and not to worry. In defence, he asked me to focus on full back duties. To be alert to goalscoring opportunities, to close down space, the pressure...

Your coach at Barça B said you could play as a centre back? 

The year in which I made my debut with the first team, in the first half of the season, I played at centre back. The coach saw I was capable of doing a job there. But I told him I didn't enjoy the role. A full back has more of the ball and I enjoy having the ball as much as possible.

Are you ready for a backup role - and fewer minutes - as you compete with Jordi Alba for a starting place?

No one is happy to be a substitute, they always want to play. I know that Jordi is ahead of me and he's the best left back in the world. He's been playing at the highest level for a long time, for the national team too, so I know who my competition is. I can't keep saying "I'm not playing, I'm not playing" in my head. What I need and want to do is adapt to the rhythm quickly and do it well. Who knows, maybe I'll be in the starting XI, or maybe not.

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