Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery says Antoine Griezmann can't join him among the elite band of world footballers after just "one good season."
The striker was instrumental in Atletico Madrid‘s challenge for honours in La Liga and the Champions League last season, and then scored six at Euro 2016 for France – a tally unprecedented in the tournament for 32 years.
For Ribery’s seal of approval, however, he’ll have to wait.
"Yes, last season he played well, but you should only be considered world-class when you consistently deliver these performances," the retired France international said to Tobias Altschafel and Christian Falk from Sport Bild, courtesy of ESPNFC.
"We are too quick to say after one good season, 'This player is outstanding, he must win the Ballon d'Or.' I don't agree with this. Quality means, for me, churning out top performances over a period of 10, 12, or 15 years. Then, I say well played too."
While Griezmann fired himself into world football's consciousness in 2015-16, Ribery was overcoming extended spells on the sidelines the previous campaign with a serious ankle injury. However, the 33-year-old believes his achievements elsewhere in his career mean he's still world class.
“Okay, I was injured for nine months last year, but other than that I was almost always at the top of my game over the past decade,” he added.
Ribery did offer words of encouragement to players that may join the club of football's greatest, though: Chelsea's Eden Hazard and Borussia Dortmund's teenage sensation Ousmane Dembele, who's "fresh, two-footed, and quick with loads of potential: a sprinter who can dribble and go past defenders."
After recuperating over the international break, Ribery should be fresh Saturday to take on Eintracht Frankfurt as Bayern looks to vanquish a Champions League group-stage loss to Griezmann's Atletico and disappointing home draw against FC Koln in its two most recent tilts.
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