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Antoine Griezmann.

Antoine Griezmann names who will win 2017 Ballon d'Or - it's not Messi or Ronaldo

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Antoine Griezmann, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe - three players tipped for future Ballon d'Or success.

It's Griezmann who has come closest to winning football's greatest individual honour in recent times having finished third behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in 2016.

And while the France international was content with placing, he expressed frustration at how the Ballon d'Or is always a two-horse race.

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"The Ballon d'Or is one of my objectives, but it will be complicated so long as Ronaldo and Messi are around," he told Telefoot, per Goal.

"Cristiano Ronaldo will be a legend of the game in 10 years' time or so. It is up to me to keep working hard to reach that level. I work hard every day to improve.

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"But there is always Messi to take into account. He is present every year when it comes to the Ballon d'Or."

It's looking increasingly likely that Griezmann will miss out this year, too, with Ronaldo on the brink of winning the La Liga and Champions League double with Real Madrid.

And then there's Messi, who has enjoyed a phenomenal individual season scoring 50 goals in 48 games in all competitions (35 in La Liga).

FBL-EUR-C1-REALMADRID-ATLETICO

You can hardly blame Griezmann for feeling frustrated - he's been fantastic for Atletico Madrid in recent years but has nothing to show for it.

So perhaps that goes some way to explaining why he believes neither Ronaldo or Messi will win the Ballon d'Or this year. Yes, you've read that right.

According to Griezmann, for the first time since 2007, there will be a new winner of the Ballon d'Or: Gianluigi Buffon.

The 26-year-old is confident Juventus will beat Real in the Champions League final next month, which will see Buffon awarded the Ballon d'Or.

Juventus v AS Monaco - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: Second Leg

Speaking to Cadena Ser, Griezmann said: "Juventus will win the Champions League and therefore Gigi Buffon the Ballon d'Or."

A man can dream. Football fans are desperate for Buffon to win the Champions League for the first time in his career, but being named the 2017 Ballon d'Or would be incredible.

Only one goalkeeper has ever won the prestigious prize: Soviet-Russian Lev Yashin in 1963.

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