Football news - Antoine Griezmann names Barcelona-bound Frenkie de Jong as best opponent
Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann has faced his fair share of star-studded names during his career, but is in no doubt over who has been the best. It may surprise you...
Griezmann faced the likes of Lionel Messi at last summer's World Cup for his country as well as regularly during his time in La Liga during Atletico Madrid's encounters with Barcelona.
Only last week, he once more came face-to-face with Cristiano Ronaldo during Atletico's Champions League clash with Juventus - and Griezmann may well have been up to some mischief-making as he ignored the Portuguese when asked for the best opponent he has faced.
Rather than massage the ego of a direct rival, the Frenchman highlighted the skills of Ajax playmaker Frenkie de Jong, who will join Barcelona in the summer.
Frenkie de Jong impressed Griezmann during their Nations League encountersGetty Images
Ernesto Valverde will be delighted with Griezmann's high praise for the young Dutchman, who will head to the Nou Camp on a five-year contract for €75m (£65.3m) at the end of the season.
Griezmann has previously been linked with a move to the La Liga champions, but is likely to be a direct rival to De Jong having committed his future to Atletico.
The pair played against each other during last year's UEFA Nations League group stages, with Holland getting the better of France in Amsterdam.
Antoine Griezmann played in France's defeat to Holland against De JongGetty Images
Despite those complimentary words on De Jong, the talented youngster can not yet be viewed as one of the greatest players of all time, with the usual suspects being listed by Griezmann when asked for his choices.
"Best player of all time? Well you know it depends on the era but I would say Messi or Cristiano," he added.
" I never saw how Pele or Maradona played. It's a tough question. Everyone has their own style."
"There's also Zidane. Zidane won the World Cup. Messi and Ronaldo never have."
Cristiano Ronaldo is among Griezmann's picks for the best player of all timeGetty Images
Griezmann was also asked about his favourite ever-team mate, with a player renowned for his uncompromising style surely a popular selection among those who have had the fortune of being on the same side as him.
"I would say Diego Costa for the support he gives me on the field. He allows me to play so freely.
"He's a guy I work really well with on the pitch. We understand each other with a single look, we know where we're both at.
"On top of that, he's a fighter, and he brings that out in me, which I love. It's rare to have that with a team-mate."