Former France forward Christophe Dugarry has been forced to apologize after labelling Lionel Messi "half autistic" in an astonishing tirade against the Barcelona star.

Speaking about the struggles current France star Antoine Griezmann has had since his big-money move to Barcelona last summer, Dugarry suggested his countryman should stand up to Messi to resolve any issues.   

"What is [Griezmann] afraid of? A kid who is 1.5 meters tall and half autistic?" Dugarry said on RMC Sport, Goal reported. 

"All he has to do is show some balls at some point. I've been saying for a year that he has a problem with Messi. He has to hit him in the face.

"It's true that Messi could give him more passes, but honestly I am not surprised. Griezmann loses balls, doesn't play with confidence. Griezmann should go and talk to Messi to solve the problem."