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Published: 10:09 | 16/5/18

Griezmann compares Simeone to Ferguson

Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann believes boss Diego Simeone is building a legacy similar to that Sir Alex Ferguson achieved at Manchester United.

Los Colchoneros face French side Olympique Marseille in the Europa League final in Lyon tonight [Wednesday], a game you can see live on eir sport 2 [kick-off 7.45pm].

The Europa League was Simeone's first trophy he won as Atletico manager in 2011-12, in his first season in charge of the club.

He has since then added a Spanish League title, a Spanish Cup, a Super Cup and twice taken the club to the Champions League final.

Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge of Manchester United for 27 years winning 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and four League Cups, two Champions League, a Cup Winners' Cup and a Super Cup. 

France international Griezmann said: "What 'el Cholo' [Simeone] is doing for this club is historic.

“It reminds me a bit of Ferguson and what he did with Manchester United.

“Hopefully he'll have that career because he deserves it, and he has taken the team where he intended, to the maximum, to among the best teams in the world. We are there thanks to him.”

“He [Simeone] has made me grow on a personal and professional level.

“I believe that tactically, on a defensive level he is the best in the world. You can see every year that it is a joy to be able to work with him."

Griezmann could be playing his last European game for the club tonight with Barcelona and Manchester United among clubs ready to make bids.

The 27-year-old has a €100m buyout clause and is rumoured to be ready for a new challenge after four years at the club.

But Marseille and former West Ham playmaker Dimitri Payet says that his fellow Frenchman will not be distracted tonight by talk about his future.

Payet said: "Antoine Griezmann is a big boy and can manage such situations.

"It is true that there is a lot of talk about his future all over the world, but there is a final to be played and he is mature enough to forget about the discussions.

"It might even motivate him even more to go home with the trophy, but we must make sure we stop him and prevent that happening."

The Europa League final between Marseille and Atletico Madrid at the Stade de Lyon will be shown live on eir sport 2 on Wednesday, 16 May [kick off 7.45pm Irish time]

Images: Getty Images/ Dean Mouhtaropoulos

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