Antoine Griezmann says Frenkie de Jong is the best player he's played against


The might of Barcelona and Real Madrid have prevented Antoine Griezmann from enjoying domestic success with Atletico Madrid.

The Frenchman was signed by Los Rojiblancos the summer after they won the La Liga title in 2013-14, so he missed out on that glory.

Griezmann played in the Spanish Super Cup in 2014, which Atletico won, but the club haven’t lifted the title since.

Much of that is due to the fact that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been his rivals since he signed for Atletico.

Since Atleti’s La Liga triumph, Barcelona and Real Madrid are the only teams to have won the title. Meanwhile, Messi’s Barcelona have won the Copa del Rey four straight seasons.

Yet, despite the fact that he’s had plenty of first-hand experience of Messi and Ronaldo’s genius, Griezmann doesn’t consider either player to be his toughest opponent.

Speaking to Oh My Goal, the World Cup winner insisted Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong is the best player he’s faced.


Griezmann: De Jong is my toughest opponent

"I would say De Jong from Ajax Amsterdam," Griezmann said, "because I tried to put pressure on him and never succeeded."

Griezmann played against De Jong twice in 2018 in the UEFA Nations League.

Their first encounter, in September, ended in a 2-1 victory for France, but De Jong showed what he’s all about when the Netherlands won the return meeting 2-0 in November.

The 21-year-old produced a brilliant display to help the Netherlands finish top of their group.


Griezmann and De Jong can expect many more meetings; the Ajax midfielder will join Barcelona in the summer after the clubs agreed a €75 million deal.

Despite his clear praise for the young midfielder, Griezmann still considers Ronaldo and Messi to be football’s true greats.

“Best player of all time? Well you know it depends on the era but I would say Messi or Cristiano," he added.

"I never saw how Pele or Maradona played. It's a tough question. Everyone has their own style.

"There's also Zidane. Zidane won the World Cup. Messi and Ronaldo never have."

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