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Simeone: Atletic Now At Level With Real Madrid, Barca; Griezmann, Oblak World Best

Simeone: Atletic Now At Level With Real Madrid, Barca; Griezmann,  Oblak World Best

Atletico Madrid manager has been fighting for better recognition for his club and players as he insists that despite their huge achievements in recent times, people who should know better have inexplicably blacklisted from the side from certain honours list.

Simeone believes that the era of Real Madrid Barcelona dorminace over Atletico in Spanish football has gone, insisting that his side is no longer a lesser outfit, and that they have outstanding individual talent in Antoine Griezmann and Jan Oblak who should win world awards.

Simeone is baffled as to why Antoine Griezmann has been overlooked in the Best FIFA awards.

“From the results we aren’t worse than Madrid or Barca, from the individual characteristics of our players, yes,” Simeone who led Atletico Madrid to finish above Madrid in LaLiga last term and defeated Los Blancos in August’s UEFA Super Cup told El Partidazo de COPE.

“Without Cristiano we have approached Real Madrid level, for sure.”

Simeone was also quizzed on Griezmann, who over the past four months has become a World Cup winner with France and helped Atleti to Europa League and Super Cup glory.

However, Griezmann did not make the shortlist for the Best FIFA Men’s Player, with Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Mohamed Salah battling it out – a decision the player himself labelled “bizarre”.

And Simeone feels disappointed that Griezmann’s achievements have been overlooked.

“He hasn’t had an explanation – World Cup winner, Super Cup, Europa League, second in LaLiga, best player in the (World Cup) final,” he stated.

“In this past year, he was the best in the world. It is a pity. We do not underestimate ourselves to think that it is because he plays for Atletico, it will be a lack of imagination of people who choose.

“Obviously it disappoints a little. But it’s clear that Griezmann was the best last season.”

In June, Griezmann signed a new deal with Atleti through to 2023 despite reported interest from Barcelona, a move Simeone insists he never expected to happen.

“I swear on my kids that I never saw us losing him,” he said. “I never saw him at Barcelona. I always felt like he would stay.”

Jan Oblak is another Atleti star who has been snubbed for big individual prizes, missing out on the nominees for goalkeeper in the FIFPro World 11 awards.

Simeone was asked about Oblak and insists former Atleti loanee Thibaut Courtois, who joined rivals Madrid from Chelsea in the last window, would not get in his team.

“Oblak is the best and at least in the top three keepers in the world,” Simeone insisted. “Courtois would not be a starter at Atletico. Oblak is better.”

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