The Atletico Madrid man smashed 32
goals for his club and currently leads
scoring at the Euros with six, and his
team-mate believes he is ahead of
Cristiano for the award
Antoine Griezmann would be France
team-mate Blaise Matuidi’s pick for this
year’s Ballon d’Or but he played down
the significance of a showdown
between Euro 2016’s top scorer and
Cristiano Ronaldo in Sunday’s final
against Portugal.
Griezmann scored 32 goals in all
competitions for Atletico Madrid last
season and has carried this stunning
form into Euro 2016 – his brace in
Thursday’s semi-final triumph over
Germany taking his tournament tally to
National team coaches, captains and
select journalists vote annually to
award the Ballon d’Or to world
football’s outstanding player.
This means Matuidi will be no more
than a keen onlooker but, ahead of the
players facing off at the Stade de
France, the Paris Saint-Germain
midfielder revealed he would plump for
his compatriot and not the three-time
winner from Real Madrid.
“I think [Griezmann] is a credible
candidate for the Ballon d’Or with what
he’s done this season and in this
competition,” he told a news
conference at France’s Clairefontaine
training base.
“If I had to vote, I would vote for him.
It’s exceptional what he’s done. I hope
it continues
“To see a player of this talent – not all
the nations have players of this talent –
I am very happy to have such a player
with us.”
Matuidi was keen to add that this was
not an attempt to play down Ronaldo’s
supreme abilities and he feels Sunday’s
final will come down to much more
than what the two star attackers
produce in Saint-Denis.
“Ronaldo too, he deserves it, he had a
strong season and is going great in this
competition. After, we will see,” he
“I think Antoine, if you asked him today,
the first thing he has in his head is the
French team and to be the champion of
“It’s not a match between him and
Ronaldo, it’s a match between France
and Portugal.”
One Portugal player who has caught
Matuidi’s eye is 18-year-old sensation
Renato Sanches – a fellow midfielder
who he received a tip-off about from
PSG team-mate David Luiz.
Sanches is set to join up with
Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich after
concluding a switch from Benfica and
Matuidi said: “Sanches is a player that I
discovered playing at Benfica. I spoke
with one of my team-mates, David
Luiz, who knows him.
“He said, ‘Hey, look at this player, he’s
exceptional – he’s only 18′. I watched
him at a match and he surprised me.
“His technical qualities are excellent
and I am not surprised to see him like
this in the Euro because of his
performances in the Champions
“He is a player with a big, big future. I
hope he will do a little bit less in this