Antoine Griezmann Says Omission from FIFA's The Best Award 'Bothers' Him

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2018

France's forward Antoine Griezmann lifts the Fifa World Cup trophy after the Russia 2018 World Cup final football match between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15, 2018. - France won the World Cup for the second time in their history after beating Croatia 4-2 in the final in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS        (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
JEWEL SAMAD/Getty Images

Atletico Madrid and France forward Antoine Griezmann has said he's been left annoyed at the omission of himself and team-mates from FIFA's Best Men's Player Award.

It was confirmed recently that three players in contention for the prize were Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo, Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah and Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric.

It meant that despite France's triumph at the FIFA World Cup, no representative from the squad will be in contention to be crowned as the governing body's best player. Griezmann said he has issues with the selection process at an event on Tuesday, per Robin Bairner of Goal.

"The Best bothers me," said the Atletico star. "It’s a FIFA award and there’s no Frenchmen. It’s weird." 

Griezmann netted four goals at the World Cup in Russia this summer and thus made a major contribution to the success of the team. In addition, he won his first piece of major silverware with Atletico Madrid at the end of the 2017-18 season, as they beat Marseille 3-0 in the UEFA Europa League final.

LYON, FRANCE - MAY 16:  Antoine Griezmann of Atletico Madrid celebrates with the trophy following the UEFA Europa League Final between Olympique de Marseille and Club Atletico de Madrid at Stade de Lyon on May 16, 2018 in Lyon, France.  (Photo by Matthias
Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Speaking about some of his fellow Atletico players, Griezmann also said he was shocked to see Jan Oblak not nominated as one of three best goalkeepers in the game. "He’s the best in the world for me, but not because he’s my team-mate," said the 27-year-old. "He’s brilliant."

Tottenham and France's Hugo Lloris is in contention for the goalkeeper prize, as are Leicester City's Kasper Schmeichel and Real Madrid's Thibaut Courtois.

While the absence of Lionel Messi from the overall shortlist prompted many to raise eyebrows, those arguing Griezmann should've made the cut have a fair point.

From January onwards the Frenchman stepped up his game, operating as a creative influence for Atletico but also getting into the box to score goals.

As the La Liga Twitter account relayed, the introduction of Diego Costa into the side in January seemed to bring something extra out of the Atletico No. 7:

While Griezmann wasn't at his best in the World Cup at times, he did come up with some huge moments for France and kept his composure in the big games. In the final, a 4-2 win over Croatia, he was especially impressive.

Despite France not having a representative in the final three, the players are unlikely to dwell on that too much, as they continue to relish being world champions. Griezmann was fully involved in the celebrations on Sunday as Les Bleus took on the Netherlands:

Atletico were expected to challenge on multiple fronts this season after some fine summer business, including the capture of Griezmann's France team-mate Thomas Lemar. However, they've only picked up four points from their opening two La Liga games.

It means standards need to be lifted if they're to challenge for that title. The UEFA Champions League will also be vital to the club and Griezmann this term, with the final to be staged at Atletico's Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

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