Diego Simeone is convinced that Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann will soon be considered alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as an elite player in world football.
Barcelona forward Messi and Real Madrid superstar Ronaldo have held a monopoly over the Ballon d’Or award for the past eight years, and the latter is favourite for the prize this time around having won the Champions League and Euro 2016, with Griezmann a losing finalist on both occasions.
Griezmann nevertheless enjoyed a superb campaign with Atleti last term, scoring 22 LaLiga goals, and that form saw him named on a three-man shortlist alongside Ronaldo and Gareth for the UEFA’s Best Player in Europe award.
Atleti have taken just two points from their opening two LaLiga matches, but Simeone reassured Griezmann that the club are still challenging for major honours and that he is capable of being recognised as the best in the world.
“[Griezmann] knows he is at a wonderful club which is growing every day and a coach who wants him,” Simeone told reporters at the launch of his new book.
“He is destined to be up there with Messi, Ronaldo, and the best in the world.”
Simeone’s own future was in doubt following the Champions League heartbreak, but he reassured fans that he wants to be in charge when Atleti move into a new stadium next season.
“I’m happy,” Simeone added. “We have a beautiful stadium to enjoy from next year and I hope to be there.
“When I saw it I could see why I’m still here. I am much simpler than you think.”
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