Antoine Griezmann tried his best not to look too disappointed after losing out on UEFA’s Best Player in Europe award to Cristiano Ronaldo last week.
The Atletico Madrid and France star was stood alongside the Portugal captain and Gareth Bale as the winner’s name was read out following the Champions League group-stage draw.
But it wasn’t hard to tell that Griezmann was gutted. After all, he felt he stood a genuine chance of securing the individual accolade ahead of the Real Madrid duo.
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“Without being big-headed, I think I deserve it because I had a great season with my club and with the national team,” Griezmann was quoted as saying by World Soccer on the eve of the ceremony. “Maybe I deserve to win the award.”
However, in the end it went to Ronaldo, who scored 51 goals during the 2015-16 campaign and ended the season by winning both the Champions League with Madrid and Euro 2016 with Portugal.
Ronaldo beat Griezmann in both finals
In both finals he beat Griezmann, who received an apology - of sorts - from the three-time Ballon d’Or winner.
“Griezmann,” Ronaldo said, “I’m sorry for the final - both finals.”
It’s probably a good thing that Griezmann doesn’t understand much English.
Griezmann: Ronaldo deserved the award
Despite his earlier comments about deserving the award, though, Griezmann has now conceded that Ronaldo was a worthy winner when asked about UEFA’s decision.
“It’s normal that Cristiano won the trophy this season,” the Atletico star was quoted as saying by Spanish newspaper AS.
“I was happy to represent France and Atlético Madrid. I want to return again and I’ll do everything possible to get it.”
Griezmann opted to stay with Atletico this summer
Griezmann could have increased his chances of winning the most prestigious individual honours by leaving the Vicente Calderon this summer, but despite interest from some of the world’s top clubs the 25-year-old agreed to sign a new five-year contract with the Colchoneros back in June.
The forward, who scored 32 goals in 25 appearances last season, knows his best chances of winning awards like the Ballon d’Or is to win league titles - which might explain why he was so upset after Atleti drew 0-0 with newly-promoted Leganes on Saturday.
"If we continue like this, we will fight for relegation," Griezmann was quoted as saying by Goal.
"We are angry, we must shake up because otherwise we will be out of hand. We must begin to be ourselves."
Can Antoine Griezmann win the Ballon d’Or one day? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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