‘Griezmann the best, not Ronaldo’

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone insists Antoine Griezmann “was the best player” of last season and should have been recognised over Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo was crowned the Best Player in Europe of 2015-16 by UEFA for his exploits in winning the Champions League with Real Madrid and captaining Portugal to Euro 2016, but Simeone believes his forward made more of an impact in Atleti and France’s respective runs to both finals.

“It’s possible that there will be changes,” the Coach said at a Press conference ahead of Saturday’s match against Leganes in La Liga.

“We always try to find the best chances [to win] based on the characteristics of each game.

“[On the UEFA Best Player Award], the people who win always do by merit.

“My congratulations go to Ronaldo. As a collective power and individually, for him to have won the Champions League and Euros puts him in that place, but for me, absolutely, the best [player] was Griezmann.

“The Champions League is always difficult and our rivals are complex, but [Bayern Munich] are no more or less difficult than any other team we could’ve faced.

“I like it because Atletico play at their best against difficult opponents and hopefully we continue going well.

“[Griezmann’s] s a decisive player, surely among the three best in the world. It’ll be his first game and he’ll go from strength to strength.

“Judging by his attitude, I have no doubt that he’ll maintain the form he has been showing.

“[On selling Borja Baston], all decisions are made together [referring to his coaching staff].

“We felt that the four strikers who could give us the options we wanted were Griezmann, [Angel] Correa, [Fernando] Torres and [Kevin] Gameiro, and we made ​​that decision a while back.

“[On the transfer market], the sports management are working with us to see if someone can arrive, or not.

“[Leganes] had a great game [against Celta Vigo], they work well as a team, with very clear ideas, patience, hard work and organisation.

“I expect a team with great enthusiasm debuting in La Liga in front of their fans.”

Tags Antoine Griezmann Cristiano Ronaldo Diego Simeone UEFA Best Player in Europe Award