The scout who discovered and nurtured Antoine Griezmann, Eric Olharts, says the Atletico Madrid man believes he can win the Golden Ball.
The scout spotted the Frenchman’s talent at the age of 14 and groomed him at Real Sociedad and says his protégé is still hoping to shock the world by claiming the prestigious award ahead of Ronaldo and Messi.
The Atletico Madrid star claimed the player of the year at the LaLiga awards recently and won the Golden Boot at the Euro 2016, after leading France to the final of the competition.
The last time a player other than Messi or Ronaldo won the award was in 2007, when Brazilian forward Kaka claimed the honour, and Olhats had previously said that the prize might be beyond Griezmann in 2016.
But he has since told L’Equipe: “I said on RMC, ‘We will not have it, it will not be for us this year. It will be Ronaldo,’ but this phrase was taken out of context.
“I said that while explaining that Ronaldo would have if it was essentially based on the best of the year.
“Antoine would hope that European journalists vote with a reasoning that goes beyond that establishing a ranking of players on the mere basis of their annual list.
“Fortunately, there are other criteria that come into play, such as individual performance.
“From there, we think he obviously has a chance. The Griezmann clan has certainly not given up.”