Monday 21 November 2016, 23:06

Ronaldo: Griezmann told me he hates me

Antoine Griezmann doesn’t have fond memories of seeing Cristiano Ronaldo on football fields. The latter converted the winning spot-kick as Real Madrid beat Atletico Madrid on penalties in the UEFA Champions League final in May. Six weeks later a France side including Griezmann lost, in front of their own public in Paris, to Ronaldo’s Portugal in the UEFA EURO 2016 decider.

So when, shortly after the latter tournament, the 25-year-old Frenchman bumped into the record-shattering Portuguese on vacation, he jokingly vented his frustration.

Ronaldo explained: “It's funny because shortly after the final, while I was on holiday in Miami, I met Antoine Griezmann in a restaurant where he was dining with his fiancee. He came over to my table and said with a sly smile, 'Cristiano, I hate you!'"

Griezmann and Ronaldo are now attempting to steer their nations to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. France lead Group A in European qualifying, three points above the Netherlands and Sweden.

Portugal are second in Group B, three points behind Switzerland, to whom they lost 2-0 in their curtain-raiser. Ronaldo missed that match through injury, but has scored seven goals in three qualifiers since to become the joint-fourth-highest European marksman in international football alongside West Germany’s Gerd Muller and Republic of Ireland’s Robbie Keane. The 31-year-old trails only Ferenc Puskas (84), Sandor Kocsis (75) and Miroslav Klose (71).

Griezmann and Ronaldo are among the 23 nominees for The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2016 award.