Ballon d'Or news: Diego Simeone believes Messi, Ronaldo will be beaten to award by La Liga star
What's the story?
Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has claimed that only one player can beat five-time Ballon d'Or winners Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to this year's edition of the award.
In case you didn't know...
The likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have predictably made it to the thirty-man shortlist for the 2018 Ballon d'Or.
Besides the two, players like Sergio Aguero, Alisson Becker, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Edinson Cavani, Thibaut Courtois, Kevin De Bruyne, Roberto Firmino, Diego Godin, Antoine Griezmann, Eden Hazard, Isco, Harry Kane, N’Golo Kante, Hugo Lloris, Mario Mandzukic, Sadio Mane, Marcelo, Kylian Mbappe, Luka Modric, Neymar, Paul Pogba, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Ramos, Mohamed Salah, Luis Suarez, Jan Oblak and Raphael Varane are also in the race for the coveted award.
As the award ceremony draws closer, speculation around Messi and Ronaldo's absence from the final three list for the award have been doing the rounds, with reports suggesting that Luka Modric, Raphael Varane and Kylian Mbappe will fill the top spots instead.
The heart of the matter
Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann is also in the running for the award and has now received the backing of his club boss Diego Simeone, who believes that the Frenchman has done enough to finish above Messi and Ronaldo this year.
According to a report in The Express, Simeone said, "We can safely say that Cristiano [Ronaldo] and Lionel Messi are the best footballers in the world. But not in 2018."
"At this lap Antoine was superior to everyone, nobody did what he did for his teams."
He added, "When a footballer makes sure that the whole team can work based on his brain, it has an incalculable value.”
"France plays thanks to his intelligence, when he is well physically and mentally, there is no player in the world who know how to see and play football like he does.”
"And even looking beyond the titles he won this season, the World Cup, the Europa League and the European Super Cup, there was no soccer player who was more important to the team than Griezmann."
The winner of the coveted prize has been scheduled to be announced on December 3 at the French capital.