Antoine Griezmann's Atletico Madrid teammates are stepping up to defend the Frenchman in the wake of Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos criticising him.
The World Cup winner made little secret of his desire to win the Ballon d'Or this year, also claiming he's at the same level with previous winners Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. But it hasn't gone down well with Ramos, who has since hit out at the Rojiblancos striker.
"Griezmann saying he is on the same table than Cristiano and Messi? Ignorance is very bold," the Spaniard said, via Goal. "I remember Raúl, Francesco Totti, Iker Casillas, Paolo Maldini...they won every title and they don't have a Ballon d'Or."
Griezmann's new Atletico teammate Rodri has spoken out in his defence, insisting the striker does his talking on the pitch and is not affected by Ramos's criticism.
“Griezmann can speak on the pitch, if others want to talk off it then they are free to do so,” the 22-year-old told reporters in quotes cited by Marca (H/T Football Italia). "He was not affected by the words of Ramos, he can speak if he wants to but that will not impact what happens on the pitch."
Lucas Hernandez, Griezmann's Atleti teammate and compatriot, had previously backed the striker over his bold claims regarding Ronaldo and Messi.
“I think that 90% of the world believes that Griezmann is at the same level as Messi and Ronaldo," he said after Atletico's 2-1 win over Monaco in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
“Maybe Sergio Ramos doesn’t like it, that Antoine has spoken his mind. We know that he defends his interests. He’s in a rival team, the team of the capital. We know that there’s a great rivalry between the teams and it’s normal that he defends his interests and we defend ours.”