Saturday 10 December 2016, 17:05

Deschamps: Griezmann is changing the hierarchy

Didier Deschamps has saluted Antoine Griezmann for challenging the Lionel Messi-Cristiano Ronaldo duopoly. The 25-year-old Frenchman, the 29-year-old Argentinian and the 31-year-old Portuguese are the final three contenders to be crowned The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2016 award, which theBleus coach believes his No7 has can win.

"Of course he has a chance," Deschamps told L'Equipe. "But wait, Antoine is only 25. Ronaldo and Messi are around 30. Antoine is coming, he is changing that hierarchy a bit.

“The two others are very consistent. He has performed really well over the last two years. It's already a great personal and collective success for him to be at that level."

Griezmann’s year has comprised highlights aplenty. He scored the only goal as Atletico Madrid triumphed 1-0 at Real Madrid in February. He got both goals as Diego Simeone’s side beat Barcelona 2-0 to reverse a first-leg deficit and reach the UEFA Champions League semis.

He netted the away goal at Bayern Munich that sent Atleti into the final. Griezmann also claimed the Golden Boot and Player of the Tournament awards at UEFA EURO 2016, has helped France make a positive start to 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ qualifying and will finish the year having scored eight goals in 15 internationals.

The Best FIFA Men’s Player will be crowned at The Best FIFA Football Awards™ ceremony in Zurich on 9 January 2017.