Madrid (AFP) – Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann says he still can’t fathom why he was not voted one of the world’s top three players by FIFA — but hopes winning the “more prestigious” Ballon d’Or will make amends.
“It’s a prize from FIFA and it seems a pity that no World Cup winners were nominated,” Griezmann, who helped France to World Cup glory in Russia this summer, told Spanish sports daily AS.
Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, World Cup finalist Luka Modric of Croatia and Egyptian Mohamed Salah, who enjoyed a stunning campaign with Liverpool last season, were the three players nominated by FIFA for the world ruling body’s top prize.
Now grouped within the FIFA Best awards, it will be presented on September 24.
For Griezmann, who helped Atletico to Europa League glory as well as playing a pivotal role in France’s World Cup win, FIFA’s choice was unwarranted.
“We had a really good World Cup campaign, the whole team deserve to be awarded: (Kylian) Mbappe, (Raphael) Varane, (N’Golo) Kante, who had an amazing World Cup even though no-one talks about it, or even myself.
“But that’s the way it is.”
The snub has galvanised Griezmann’s ambition to land the Ballon d’Or, the prize awarded by France Football magazine to the world’s top player as voted on by journalists around the globe.
“I think the Ballon d’Or has more prestige, a richer history,” said Griezmann.
Conceived in 1956, it has been won by Ronaldo and Lionel Messi a record five times apiece. By contrast, the FIFA Best award has been a stand-alone award only since 2016, having spent the 2010-2015 period merged with the Ballon d’Or.
He added: “It’s on my mind and I’ve got three months to give it everything (to win it). We’ll see what happens.”
Asked if he felt comfortable “sitting at the same football table” as five-time Ballon d’Or winners Messi and Ronaldo, Griezmann said: “Yes, I think so, although other players would be there as well.
“I’m enjoying being at this table, although I know I can do better.
“I’m at the summit but I know I can improve, I want to be the most complete player possible.”
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
- Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $35/mo. for Sling Blue
- Watch Premier League, World Cup & MLS
- Includes USA, NBC, FOX, FS1 + more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
- Japan star Kubo nets winner on Real Sociedad debut
- Conte, Tuchel see red as Kane snatches Spurs draw at Chelsea
- Musiala scores again as Bayern beat Wolfsburg
- Mainz, Union fight out ‘not too pretty’ 0-0 draw in 31-degree heat
- Forest mark Premier League homecoming with West Ham win
- 2022-23 Premier League TV Channel schedule on Peacock
- Where to find Chelsea vs Spurs in Canada on TV
- Where to find Nottingham Forest vs. West Ham on US TV
- Where to find Almeria vs. Real Madrid on US TV
- Where to find Bayern Munich vs. Wolfsburg on US TV