Kevin Gameiro has backed Atlético strike partner Antoine Griezmann to one day break Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s stranglehold on the Ballon d’Or.
Either current holder Ronaldo or Messi have won the coveted prize for the world’s best player in each of the past nine years but Gameiro reckons the time will come for Griezmann, third in the 2016 voting. “If he continues in the vein he has been,” said the forward, “he could well win the Ballon d’Or.”
Griezmann has passed 20 club goals for the fourth season running and is well placed to improve his total goals and goals per game tallies for the eighth campaign in a row, despite the fact he now shares goalscoring duties with fellow Frenchman Gameiro.
Griezmann is still only 25, which compares favourably with Messi (29) and Ronaldo (32). He’s not the only contender to the throne, though, as Neymar (25), Robert Lewandowski (28) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (27) also have youth on their side.
And can you name the last man other than Messi and Ronaldo to win the Ballon d’Or? (See below for answer).
Griezmann: Club goals per season
2009/10 – 6.5 games per goal (6 in all)
2010/11 – 5.6 games per goal (7)
2011/12 – 4.8 games per goal (8)
2012/13 – 3.2 games per goal (11)
2013/14 – 2.5 games per goal (20)
2014/15 – 2.1 games per goal (25)
2015/16 – 1.7 games per goal (32)
2016/17 – 1.8 games per goal (21)
It was Kaká in 2008.