Didier Deschamps 'Disappointed' at Antoine Griezmann's The Best Omission

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistSeptember 6, 2018

France's coach Didier Deschamps (L) and France's forward Antoine Griezmann celebrate their victory at the end of the Russia 2018 World Cup quarter-final football match between Uruguay and France at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod on July 6, 2018. (Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS        (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)

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: 


No World Cup winners in The Best FIFA award shortlist? Antoine Griezmann is confused. https://t.co/sg7ug39rdt

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: 

B/R Football @brfootball

BREAKING: @AntoGriezmann is named 2017/18 Europa League Player of the Season 🔴⚪ https://t.co/ZKU8hCsdHS

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:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Antoine Griezmann: Of the 26 players to have scored more than 5 goals, @AntoGriezmann has a better conversion rate (34.1%) than any other player in La Liga in 2018 For more player stats -- https://t.co/1PeFygL3Qw https://t.co/VmTj562ZFl

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.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.