Griezmann selects Vardy in his top three players for the Ballon d'Or

Leicester City's Jamie Vardy

The French hitman believes Vardy's achievements with Leicester City is worthy of a place on the three man shortlist.

Leicester City's Jamie Vardy wins the Barclays Player Of The Season Award

Atletico Madrid and France striker Antoine Griezmann has selected Jamie Vardy in his top three players of the year for the Ballon d'Or shortlist, with the inner to be announced in January.

The 25-year-old Frenchman, who has himself been nominated or the award following his impressive displays for Atletico Madrid last season and for winning the Golden Boot at Euro 2016, has chosen Vardy alongside perennial contenders in Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Vardy has enjoyed a well documented meteoric rise from obscurity and was a key part in helping Leicester win a historic Premier League title, ten points clear of the nearest challengers Arsenal after wrapping up the title with two games to spare.

France's Antoine Griezmann celebrates scoring their first goal

It seems his exploits have not gone unnoticed by his peers across the world as Griezmann has ignored the likes of Luis Suarez and Neymar to put Vardy on his list.

Speaking with Goal, the Atletico Madrid striker explained his choice and said 'Cristiano Ronaldo, as he’s won two titles, Lionel Messi because he’s unique and after that maybe Jamie Vardy for winning the English title with Leicester.'

Barcelona's Lionel Messi shoots from a free kick

Although Vardy has not started the current season with the same bang as last season, he is still being recognised for his magnificent achievements as part of the club. Teammate and PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez is also on the 30 man list which includes Manchester City's Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Aguero, Tottenham's Hugo Lloris and West Ham's Dimitri Payet. 

It seems Griezmann is not just impressed with Vardy though. When quizzed on his coach of the year selections, Claudio Ranieri made his top three list, behind his current coaches Diego Simeone and Didier Deschamps for Atletico Madrid and France respectively. 

He said: 'My two coaches: Diego Simeone and Didier Deschamps. After them, Claudio Ranieri for his work at Leicester.

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri

'It was unexpected (Leicester becoming champions), especially against teams like Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool.

'It’s something incredible that they won the championship.'

 

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