France manager Didier Deschamps has said he is "disappointed" that Antoine Griezmann didn't make the final shortlist for FIFA's Best Men's Player award.
Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid playmaker Luka Modric and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah will fight it out for the individual prize after excellent campaigns. However, Deschamps said he believes that the Atletico Madrid and France star should be in the running.
"I am disappointed in the exclusion," he said, per Football Espana. "I will not say that it is unfair because that would mean the three others who are on the shortlist would not deserve it. They deserve it but what I can say is that Antoine and a few other French players would have deserved to be on that list too."
In addition to Griezmann, Barcelona icon Lionel Messi was also a notable omission, having not been selected despite inspiring his team to a La Liga and Copa del Rey double.
Had Griezmann made the last three then there would've been few arguments, as 2018 has been a memorable year for him with club and country. With Atletico he won the UEFA Europa League, scoring twice in the final against Marseille, while with France he was a key performer at the FIFA World Cup, scoring four times en route to them winning the tournament.
Per ESPN FC, Griezmann said himself that with France's achievements considered, the absence of Les Bleus stars is a little confusing:
The 27-year-old has been in the running for major individual prizes previously, finishing behind Ronaldo and Messi in the race for the 2016 Ballon d'Or.
In that year he was crucial to Atletico making it to the UEFA Champions League final and France getting to the UEFA European Championship final, albeit his teams went on to lose both games.
Since then Griezmann has continued to be one of the most dangerous forwards in the game, and late last season and during the summer he was at his best once again. He was recognised for his excellent performances in the Europa League last term:
In addition, this year Griezmann appears to have discovered an extra edge in front of goal, with few chances being squandered by the Frenchman in the Spanish top flight:
Given the significance the World Cup holds and the importance of Griezmann in France's triumph, he may be right to feel hard done by at not being shortlisted. Still, the year will always be one to remember for the forward, having won major silverware on both the European and world stage.
After signing a new contract in the summer with Atletico, Griezmann will hope to inspire his club to more successes this season in La Liga and potentially the UEFA Champions League. For France, there's no reason why he can't be central to their pursuit of the European Championship in 2020.