By Amir Mir
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has claimed France striker Antoine Griezmann can win the Ballon d’Or after his performances at Euro 2016.
The Atletico Madrid striker is currently the tournament’s top scorer with six goals as his home country head into the Euro 2016 final against Portugal on Sunday evening.
The 25-year-old has scored his goals every 72 minutes, including two against world champions Germany in Thursday’s semi-final.
In an interview with social media company, Konbini, the Frenchman believes Griezman is not far from the likes of Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, the megastars who have dominated the award since 2007.
“Griezmann for me is one of the candidates for the Golden Ball [Ballon d’Or],” Wenger told Konbini. “In Spain, he is not far from Ronaldo and Messi. Age is on his side and look at the Euros: six goals, three assists – these stats are not nothing.”
The tournament’s top scorer will come up against three-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo in Sunday’s Euro 2016 final, but it has been Griezmann’s performances in Spain which have also caught the eye of supporters.
The Spanish-based forward scored an important away goal against Bayern Munich as his reached last season’s Champions League final where they were beaten by rivals Real Madrid on penalties.
Griezmann scored 33 goals in 54 appearances in all competitions last term as his side finished three points behind champions Barcelona.
But, Wenger was insistent that his French counterpart has proven he is worthy of the trophy as seen by his performances this season.
“This year he went to the Champions League final by scoring in all the big games, not to mention that he scored 22 goals in La Liga. So yes, why not the Ballon d’Or?” said Wenger.
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