Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone is confident Antoine Griezmann will not be distracted by his desire to win the Ballon d'Or.
Griezmann is among the favourites, alongside Luka Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe, to win football's most prestigious individual honour.
The forward has enjoyed a stellar year that included Europa League and UEFA Super Cup glory with Atleti, as well as a World Cup triumph with France at Russia 2018.
Griezmann has made little secret of his wish to win the prize and Simeone believes the Frenchman deserves to be recognised for his achievements, but does not foresee a dip in standards from his star player.
"I don't think [there will be a lack of focus], what he did in the recent past is already there, he won the Europa League, UEFA Super Cup and the World Cup," Simeone said ahead of Atleti's trip to Villarreal on Saturday.
"He was also runner-up in LaLiga, facing the best teams in the world Barcelona and Real Madrid. Last season Griezmann was the best player in the world, for sure."
@Simeone on the #Ballondor: “@EuropaLeague champion, UEFA #Supercup champion, World Champion, @LaLiga runner-up against the best teams in the world, crucial for @equipedefrance. I say this again: I think that last season, Griezmann was the best. For sure." pic.twitter.com/HUeUtJ927Y— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) October 19, 2018
Atleti are just one point adrift of LaLiga leaders Sevilla in the table having taken 15 from eight matches this season.
That is the same amount as champions Barcelona and one more than Real Madrid, whose respective bosses Ernesto Valverde and Julen Lopetegui have faced questions over their futures.
It was put to Simeone that he avoids the same sort of criticism aimed at his rival bosses but the Argentine coach disagreed with that theory, stating that he came under fire after losing to Celta Vigo in September and that many claimed there was disharmony in his squad at times during the last campaign.
"You're the ones who write, I don't agree with your statement, we're all exposed, we depend on the results," he replied.
"The teams you named are big ones and the coach is a key piece if it gets results, we live to get good results, when we don't get them we're criticised.
"After the Celta game we were criticised, and also last season they said the team wasn't on the same page as me.
"Criticism always happens when you don't win, even if you control the game, if you don't win you will be criticised."
23 de abril 2019
|Hudson-Odoi says his season is over with ruptured Achilles tendon|
|Arthur backs Pakistan to mount World Cup challenge|
|David Luiz accuses Burnley of playing ´anti-football´|
22 de abril 2019
|Pogba blasts Manchester United for ´disrespectful´ performance in Everton humbling|
|NFL Draft 2019: Five sleeper prospects|
|NFL Draft 2019: Five potential first-round surprises|
|Chelsea 2 Burnley 2: Kante injured as Sarri´s men waste chance to go third|
|Kante off injured ahead of crucial period for Chelsea|
|Ruthless Saints thrash Hull FC, Warrington thump Rovers|
|Pant sends Capitals top despite Rahane hundred|
|AFC Champions League Review: Xavi stars in last-gasp Al Sadd victory|
|Brentford 2 Leeds United 0: Automatic promotion hopes hanging by a thread for Bielsa|
|Verdasco edges ahead of old rival Lopez in Barcelona, Mayer books Nadal date|
|Martic rallies to oust Zidansek in Istanbul|
|Heavyweight Ali pays the Price for bite|
|Championship Review: Sheffield United put the pressure back on Leeds, Norwich City held|
|Valverde to be patient with returning Barcelona star Dembele|
|Valencia winger Cheryshev to miss Copa del Rey final|
|DaMarkus Lodge relishing chance to prove himself as all-round receiver|
|Hassan named in Afghanistan World Cup squad|
|Bayern ´not easy´ for Sanches, accepts Kovac|
|Sissoko could miss two weeks – Pochettino|
|Pakistan announce Shadab Khan treatment plans|
|Coman and Gnabry impressing Bayern Munich boss Kovac|
|Khan will not retire on Crawford loss|
|Pavard: Bayern signed me because I am one of the best|
|Eels open new home by thumping tame Tigers|
|Folau´s Rugby Australia hearing set for May 4|
|Henderson urges Liverpool to ´keep believing´ in title race|
|McCollum driven by past Blazers failure|
|Hertha confirm broken ankle for rumoured Bayern target Stark|
|Young promises United response in Manchester derby|
|Mbappe won´t leave PSG, insists Tuchel|
|Warriors and Trail Blazers extend leads, Celtics reach Conference semis|
|Red Sox, Yankees claim extra-inning wins to continue turnarounds|
|Matic: Man United didn´t have leaders against Everton|
|Tuchel calls for Champions League patience after Ligue 1 glory|
|MLS Review: Vela leads LAFC rout, New York end winless start|
|Kerr backs Warriors star Curry to bounce back quickly|
|76ers star Butler, Nets´ Dudley fined after playoff clash|
|We always feel the same happiness – Al-Khelaifi revels in PSG´s Ligue 1 success|
|Paris Saint-Germain 2018-19: More goals and tighter at the back – the numbers behind Tuchel´s triump|
|Warriors´ Thompson says he ended slump by jumping in ocean|
|Maiden winner Pan claims RBC Heritage as Johnson capitulates|
|We cannot influence Manchester derby, neither can United – Klopp trolls Solskjaer´s men|
|Stevens proud of Celtics for keeping foot on the accelerator to sweep Pacers|
|DeRozan fined $25k for throwing ball at referee|
|Garcia and Mladenovic put past feud behind them to send France into Fed Cup final|
21 de abril 2019
|I am sure to stay at PSG – Mbappe insists he is not Real Madrid-bound|
|Special Foden has something that´s difficult to find – Guardiola|
|Sarri: Chelsea´s League Cup run on par with Tottenham´s heroics|
|Munster condemn pitch invader who confronted Vunipola|
|NHL awards 2019: Brent Burns, Mark Giordano, Victor Hedman named Norris Trophy finalists|
|Paris Saint-Germain 3 Monaco 1: Mbappe leads title celebrations with hat-trick as Neymar returns|
|Celtics sweep Pacers to advance to semi-finals|
|Neymar makes return from injury as substitute against Monaco|
|Words mean little – De Gea apologetic for disastrous Manchester United performance|
|PSG in Notre Dame jersey tribute against Monaco|
|Benzema the world´s best striker – Zidane|
|Patel the hero as Challengers survive Dhoni´s devastating display|
|Injured PAOK captain comes off bench to celebrate club´s first title in 34 years|
|It is in our hands – Emery confident on Arsenal´s Champions League hopes|
|Liverpool prove to be a cut above Cardiff thanks to Klopp´s pitch-perfect plan|
|Neymar back on the bench for PSG´s clash with Monaco|
|Ringrose: ´Incredible´ Saracens awaiting Leinster in final|
|Hodgson prepared to fight to keep Zaha at Crystal Palace|
|All we can do is keep the pressure on Man City, admits Milner|
|This is my home – Marcelo wants Real Madrid stay|
|Cardiff City 0 Liverpool 2: Resilient Reds return to the Premier League summit|
|Arsenal 2 Crystal Palace 3: Zaha on target as Gunners slip up in top four race|