Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann concedes he is not yet at the same level as Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 25-year-old is among the favourites for this year’s Ballon d’Or after sustaining exceptional form for club and country.
Griezmann scored 32 goals last season as Atletico finished third in LaLiga and reached the Champions League final, before he claimed the Golden Boot at Euro 2016 as he fired in six goals to take France all the way to the final.
But the former Real Sociedad forward, who has struck six times in as many league games this term, believes he must win more trophies if he is to be considered on the same level as the Barcelona and Real Madrid forwards.
“I think I still have more to do to be their equal, starting with winning titles,” he told L’Equipe. “They’ve won them and they keep winning them.
“But as I’ve said in the past, I want to sit at their table. And I think I’m getting there, bit by bit. I hope to stay there as long as possible.”
Griezmann does, however, feel as though his increasing reputation is beginning to have an impact on the pitch.
When asked if opponents or officials take more notice of him than when he first joined Atletico in 2014, he replied: “The referees, even more!
“Now they call me ‘Griezmann’, whereas before they didn’t know who I was. They had to look at the name on the back of my shirt.”
Griezmann caused a stir when, after the 0-0 draw with Leganes in August, he claimed that Atletico could be dragged into a relegation fight if they did not improve.
The forward admits he was wrong to vent his frustrations to the media, but feels his comments may have had the right effect, with Diego Simeone’s side having won six times and held Barcelona to a 1-1 draw in their last seven matches.
“I was wrong to speak publicly,” he said. “I should have done it in the dressing room, but that’s what I thought at the time. That’s why I said it.
“Maybe it stung everyone a little. But, again, it was just spontaneous. There was no hidden agenda. I’m not someone who uses the media to get messages across.”