Antoine Griezmann believes that he’s on the same level as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as he sets his sights on the Ballon d’Or award
The 27-year-old forward was omitted from the three-man shortlist for FIFA’s The Best award, despite playing key roles in France’s World Cup triumph and Atletico Madrid’s Europa League title.
But Griezmann remains confident in his abilities and feels that the upcoming Ballon d’Or, which is determined by a voting panel of journalists, is a more prestigious award that will give him a better shot at being named the world’s best player this year.
“I think the Ballon d’Or has more prestige and history,” he told AS.
“There are three months left to give everything.
“It is clear that I am a different player than Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar or [Kylian] Mbappe. I’m at the top but I can improve.
“I seek to be as complete as possible. I’m not going to score 50 goals, but I’m looking to help offensively and work for the team.
“I think I already sit where Messi and Cristiano are. And I know other players are going to come for sure.
“I want to improve, I want to win and I want to continue like this, playing in this way.”
Un gran orgullo de ser el primer goleador de este magnifico Estadio, de NUESTRO Estadio ! pic.twitter.com/bXyaPWt12Y
— Antoine Griezmann (@AntoGriezmann) September 16, 2018
Griezmann turned down a summer move to Barcelona in favour of signing a new long-term deal with Atletico.
The Frenchman explained that part of the reason why he rejected a move to Barcelona was as a tribute to head coach Diego Simeone and the rest of the squad.
“Saying no to Barcelona gives greatness to Atletico, Cholo [Simeone], my team-mates,” he said.
“I trust them and we contribute to each other a lot.
“I stay where they give me more love. If it was for money, I would have gone to China.
“It was a very important decision for my future. You do not only look at one year, you do it thinking about four or five. It wasn’t as easy as choosing a candy.”