Antoine Griezmann had a fantastic year. A year to remember. So much so that he feels he should win the Best Player in Europe Award. There are players who probably deserve the award more than him, but he's full of confidence and belief in himself after balling out for club and country. And that's a very good thing.
Speaking to UEFA's website, Griezmann said: “I am proud to be a finalist, that means I am on the right track and have to continue that way … I don't want to sound arrogant, but I deserve this award because I've had a great season with both club and the national team.”
Griezmann scored 22 La Liga goals for Atletico Madrid as they finished third in La Liga, and helped carry his side to the Champions League final, hitting the back of the net seven times in the process. He carried that form into Euro 2016 with France, grabbing the Golden Boot with his six goals, despite coming up short at the end.
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Griezmann was absolutely one of Europe's best this year. But he wasn't the best. Luis Suarez was objectively the best player this year, and he got left off the list completely. Cristiano Ronaldo scored 48 goals in 51 club matches, 16 of those on the way to winning Champions League, and he helped lead his country to their first ever European Championship win. But that's not the point. The point is that Griezmann's reached the all-important phase of his career where he truly feels himself to be one of the best, and he's ready to prove it on a day-in, day-out basis.
Athletes generally perform the best when they're fit, happy, and really and truly believe in themselves. Griezmann began to cultivate that belief last year, and he had his best season ever. Now, he's established himself as Atleti's main man, a fixture in the French national team, and he's on top of the world.
Confidence is a good thing. And Griezmann is clearly full of it. Expect big things out of him this year.