World Cup winning champion Antoine Griezmann insisted on Wednesday that he deserves to be on the podium for this year’s Ballon d’Or after France became World Champions and he added more silverware to his kitty with Atletico Madrid.
The French star came third behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the voting in 2016 for the prestigious award but did not win anything, losing Euro 2016 final with France as well as the Champions League final with Atletico.
But this year, Greizmann has his hopes high after a successful year with Atletico, winning Europa League and UEFA Super Cup and becoming champions of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia. In an interview to French sports daily L’Equipe, Griezmann said, “Comparing 2016 and this year, for me I have to be in the top three. In 2016, I lost two finals and was in the top three. This time I have won three finals.”
Asked if not winning it would be unfair, Griezmann replied: “Not unfair, but I would wonder what more I could do. I have won three trophies, stood out at decisive moments, but it is not me who votes. I think about it, especially the closer I get to it. The Ballon d’Or is a prestigious award, and it is the highest you can go as a player. There are trophies in your league, in the World Cup, the Euro, but it’s not the same.”
However, Griezmann was not included in FIFA’S three nominees for player of the year award while UEFA gave their award for the best player of last season to Luka Modric, skipper of the Croatia side which reached the World Cup final and a Champions League winner with Real Madrid.
Asked about the nominees not including any French players, Griezmann said, “It’s bizarre, and a shame. It is a trophy given out by FIFA, isn’t it? And the World Cup is organised by FIFA, right? We win the World Cup, and there is no French player there. That is their choice but it is surprising that there is no world champion.”