UEFA award-winner Griezmann out to close ‘big gap’ to Messi, Ronaldo

Antoine Griezmann has vowed to try to close the “big gap” to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo at the top of world football.

The France star is one of the favourites to end Messi and Ronaldo’s 10-year dominance of the Ballon d’Or, having helped Atletico Madrid to win the Europa League and UEFA Super Cup either side of scoring four goals in inspiring his country to World Cup glory in 2018.

Griezmann was named the best player in last season’s Europa League on Friday and is one of 10 nominees for The Best FIFA Men’s Player of the year, the three finalists for which will be confirmed on September 3.

Despite his success, the 27-year-old feels Messi and Ronaldo remain a cut above the rest of the game’s elite.

“Yes, I can see them staying at the top for a long time yet,” he told FIFA.com. “They want to be the best, they play for top teams, and it’s still going to be ‘Cristiano, Messi and the rest’ for a while. Those of us below them have to try and get closer, but it’s a big gap to close.

“I always try to improve on what I did the previous season, because matching what Messi and Cristiano do by scoring 50 to 60 goals a year is very difficult. They’re on a different level. You can maybe be up there with them one year, but not the next.

“I do compare myself with Neymar, [Robert] Lewandowski, [Kylian] Mbappe, who’s on fire at the moment, and [Eden] Hazard. I try to be the best and see what the others do.”

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