Antoine Griezmann has said that although he is a different player to Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, he is “at the top” in football.
Atletico Madrid forward Griezmann, a World Cup winner with France, is targeting the Ballon d’Or after the disappointment of not being nominated for FIFA’s The Best award.
“There are different ways to look at football,” he told Diario AS. “It’s obvious that I’m a different player to Cristiano, Messi, Neymar or [Kylian] Mbappe.
“I’m at the top but I can get better. I want to be the most complete I can be. I’m not going to score 50 goals, but I look to help in attack and work for the team.”
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Asked whether he was dining at the same table as Messi, he said: “Yes, I think so. But I know other players will emerge for sure. At that table, there are nice pictures I have, and I enjoy it there, but I know that I can get better.”
Having turned down a move to Barcelona in the summer, Griezmann said he believed in the prospect of future success with Atletico.
“Saying no to Barcelona shows Atletico’s greatness, [coach] Diego Simeone, my teammates,” he said.
“If they were bad, I’d be gone. But I have confidence in Simeone, in the club and in my teammates. I want to make them grow and I have confidence in them to make me grow.
“We have helped each other a lot and everything is very positive so that this keeps improving.”
Griezmann missed out on nomination for The Best award despite his World Cup and Europa League wins and said it was a shame that no France player had made the list.
“There’s nothing we can do,” he said. “It’s FIFA’s award and it’s a pity that there were no World Cup winners nominated. We had a great World Cup and the whole team deserved an award.
“I think the Ballon d’Or has more prestige, more history. I have it in the back of my head. I have three months to give everything, and then we’ll see what happens.”
Griezmann has scored just once for Atleti this season as they have taken only five points from 12 in their worst start under Simeone, but after suffering a tough period last year he said he believed things could turn.
“I was quite bad,” he said. “I don’t know, I saw everything very bad. I was thinking that it was everyone else’s fault and I didn’t feel good.
“When I’m not feeling good off the field, on the field I’m worse too. But with the help of Simeone, my teammates, Godin, who I spent a lot of time with, and with the help of my partner…we turned it around.
“Diego Costa arrived, who helped me on the field, and it got better from January until now.”
Griezmann added that Simeone “asks me to play between the lines and not to drop too deep, but sometimes I see the team needs a pausa [someone to slow things down], and I will drop in that case.
“When I see my teammates defending, I don’t say to myself that I will stay up front and they’ll bring the ball up to me. I prefer to help for the good of the team.”