Antoine Griezmann nominates Frenkie de Jong as his toughest opponent

Antoine Griezmann of France and Frenkie de Jong of Holland in Group 1 Group 1 qualifying match between the Netherlands and France at the De Kuip stadium on November 16, 2018 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands (Photo of VI Images via Getty Images)

VI-Images / Getty Images

Atletico Madrid and France striker Antoine Griezmann has named Ajax starlet Frenkie de Jong as the most difficult player he has met.

De Jong, who has agreed to join Barcelona's Dutch giants in the summer, is considered one of the best hopes of world football and shined for the Netherlands when they beat France 2-0 in November.

Griezmann was impressed and, although he played some of the biggest games of the match, the Frenchman said the 21-year-old stood out.

"I would say De Jong of Ajax because I tried to put pressure on him and that I never did." the star of Atletico said Oh my goal.

By Copa90, Griezmann is not the only top-level footballer to have praised De Jong:

COPA90 @ COPA90

🚨 Frenkie De Jong in Barcelona has been confirmed and Xavi has high hopes for him

Will he be the next Sergio Busquets? 👀 https://t.co/U4U83xY1YI

Griezmann was also asked who would be the best footballer in history and named two of his longtime rivals in La Liga: the Barcelona club. Lionel Messi and old real Madrid the striker Cristiano Ronaldo, who is now at Juventus.

"Well, you know, it depends on the time, but I would say Messi or Cristiano," he said. "I've never seen how Pele or Maradona played, it's a difficult question, everyone has their own style." [Zinedine] Zidane. Zidane won the World Cup. Messi and Ronaldo have never done it. "

Griezmann also chose Diego Costa as his favorite teammate. "It allows me to play so freely," said the Frenchman. "He is a guy I work with very well in the field, we understand each other at one glance, we know where we are both."

Having faced some of the best players of his generation, the fact that Griezmann gives such an esteem to De Jong is testament to the talent of the young midfielder. So often in games, Atletico's man is tasked with closing the playmaker in depth, although De Jong was able to escape his harrying.

By WhoScored.com, De Jong has earned a reputation for meeting challenges early in his career:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Frenkie de Jong: Of the 177 players who have tried more than 25 dribbles, De Jong has a better dribbling success rate (86.2%) than any other player since the start of the 2017/18 Eredivisie season

For more statistics on players: https://t.co/bxHlmKwlDq https://t.co/oKAb8mNGRX

Next season, Griezmann will meet the Dutch again, although there is no guarantee that he will be a regular starter for Ernesto Valverde's team. After all, the Blaugrana have many midfield options:

Griezmann's comments will only add to the hype surrounding De Jong. For Griezmann and others who will thwart him in La Liga for years, finding a way to undo his influence seems like an unenviable challenge.

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