Football News

Koke says playing for Atleti was a factor behind Antoine Griezmann’s low Ballon d’Or finish

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 14:00, 21 November 2023

Atletico Madrid captain Koke believes teammate Antoine Griezmann playing for the Spanish club resulted in a lowly 2023 Ballon d’Or finish.

The native of Mâcon picked up a total of four points leaving him in 21st place which put him behind Harry Kane and Lautaro Martínez but in front of Kim Min-jae.

Koke feels Griezmann did enough to warrant a higher standing but feels turning out for Los Colchoneros isn’t high-profile or glamorous and that subsequently played a factor in the result.

“I believe that Griezmann is not higher because he plays for Atleti,” he said.

“He has all the marketing, with France he has played in two World Cup finals, he won one and was close to another; he almost won a European Championship, last year he was the best in La Liga and has been the best this year.

“I am not the one who votes but it is true that if he played for another team he would have that recognition.”

Three stats that show why Antoine Griezmann’s 2022/23 was underrated

Koke may have a point that Griezmann’s achievements in the past year may have been overlooked.

For starters in 2022/23, Griezmann became the first Atlético player to score 15+ goals and provide 15+ assists in a single La Liga campaign in the 21st century, though it wasn’t enough to guide Diego Simeone’s men to championship glory.

Furthermore, since the 2022 World Cup ended, no one across Europe’s top five divisions created more goals than France’s playmaker-in-chief (10 assists).

He also finished Qatar 2022 as the competition’s joint-leading assist-maker with three.