Saul backs Griezmann for Ballon d'Or

Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez feels team-mate Antoine Griezmann deserves the Ballon d'Or.

Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann   -  Getty Images

Atletico Madrid and France star Antoine Griezmann would be a worthy winner of the Ballon d'Or, according to club teammate Saul Niguez.

Griezmann was included on the 30-man shortlist for the coveted individual prize, having finished third for the award in 2016.

The 27-year-old enjoyed another fine campaign with Atletico – scoring 29 goals in 2017-18 as his team won the Europa League – while he netted four times to help France to the World Cup title.

READ: Ballon d'Or 2018: Dybala, De Gea and Lewandowski among 10 snubbed stars

Saul said that Griezmann deserved to win the Ballon d'Or, with Real Madrid and Croatia star Luka Modric the favourite. "I wish. He would be a fair winner for me," the Atletico midfielder told RNE on Tuesday.

"Atletico Madrid are growing and are doing so partly thanks to Griezmann. He doesn't have the numbers of Cristiano [Ronaldo] and [Lionel] Messi, but he makes us play and score goals – for his club and national team."

Saul also defended Atletico coach Diego Simeone, who was booed by fans earlier this season. Atletico sits third in the LaLiga table, just a point behind leader Sevilla after an even start to the season in Spain's top flight. "With everything he has done and everything he is doing, the doubts are unthinkable," Saul said.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :