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Can Antoine Griezmann Be As Prolific As Messi And Ronaldo?

We take a look at the gap between the Atletico striker and the world's top two

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Antoine Griezmann stole the show at Euro 2016 this past summer while on national team duty with France, bagging the Player of the Tournament Award as well as the prestigious Golden Boot (six goals and two assists).

The 25-year old has scored an incredible 22 goals in each of the past two La Liga seasons, with his 57 goals across all competitions being a testament to his amazing goalscoring abilities.

His combination of pace and creativity are one of the most potent throughout Europe.

The Frenchman ticks all of the boxes that a manager would want in an attacking player, but can he get to the level of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the Spanish league?

We look at areas that can point us in the right direction.

CONSISTENCY

Prior to joining Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2014, Griezmann enjoyed two strong campaigns with Real Sociedad ahead of his move to the Spanish capital.

31 goals across all competitions, combined with his work at Atleti, is an output that can rival any great striker in Europe.

But Messi and Ronaldo are operating on another level.

Messi’s out of this world campaign in 2011-12 for Barcelona featured 73 goals, showcasing his incredible skill in a breathtaking manner.

The Argentinian wizard has scored 30 or more goals in each of the last eight seasons and has helped to lead Barcelona to unprecedented heights.

Cristiano Ronaldo arrived from Manchester United in 2009 and immediately made an impact in Spain with Real Madrid.

His skill on the ball and goal scoring instincts bring with him excitement and flair. His seven full seasons with Real have all produced 30 or more goals across all competitions, including two 60-goal campaigns (2011-12 & 2014-15).

Despite his potential, Griezmann still needs to show that he can both improve and keep up his production.

PACE & CREATIVITY

One similar quality that all three players share is the ability to break from defenders, create space and score goals on their own.

Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, and Real Madrid all feature quality squads and have some of the most talented players in world football.

But for Griezmann to reach the same types of numbers as Messi and Ronaldo, he will need to find more ways of creating his own chances and finishing them. This will be a key factor in being able to double up on a 20-goal season.

TACTICS LEADING TO GOALS

Diego Simeone has done a fantastic job in guiding Atletico Madrid back towards the top of La Liga, capturing a league title in 2013-14 and making two appearances in the UEFA Champions League final.

He has done so with a hard-working defensive approach, often absorbing pressure and striking on a counterattack with Griezmann.

Both Messi and Ronaldo have attacking 4-3-3 formations to work within. Players like Neymar, Luis Suarez, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale join them moving the ball forward and often set up more scoring chances than Griezmann may see at Atletico.

While Simeone’s tactics are effective, they may keep Griezmann from hitting the same types of numbers as Messi and Ronaldo.

La Liga’s title race will ultimately come down to three teams, each with a prolific scorer leading the line.

While it may be too early to place Antoine Griezmann in the same category as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the young Frenchman has certainly shown the potential to blossom into one of Europe’s best footballers (and will keep the hotline ringing).

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