Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone hailed club’s striker Antoine Griezmann, reiterating that the French star deserves to win the Ballon d’Or trophy which is given to the best player of the year by France Football Magazine.

According to EFE, the 27-year-old Griezmann has become in the last year an important player for Atletico and the French national football team.

“Europa League champion, UEFA Super Cup champion, World Champion, La Liga runner-up against the best teams in the world, crucial for France national team,” said Simeone in a press conference ahead of Atletico’s La Liga clash against Villareal.

The 48-year-old Argentine coach said: “I say this again: I think that last season, Griezmann was the best. For sure.”

Regarding Saturday’s away match against Villarreal at la Ceramica stadium, Simeone said that his side expected a tough game from the Submarines on their home-pitch while acknowledging that the Rojiblancos have not won at Ceramica since the 2014-2015 season.

“We will face a great team with very good footballers and good coach,” Simeone said. “We expect a complicated match. It was very hard for us playing against Villarreal during last encounters, especially in their home-pitch. It is a new challenge.”

Simeone announced the 18-man squad that will depart for Villarreal, which includes Team B forward Borja Garces, while keeping on reserve Portuguese winger Gelson Martins.

(With IANS Inputs)