Simao hails Griezmann as 'one of the best scorers in the world' amid Barcelona transfer talk

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The 26-year-old might be in the midst of a barren scoring spell, but he retains the confidence of the former Portugal attacker

Former Atletico Madrid player Simao has hailed the impact that Antoine Griezmann has had at the club.

The France international striker has recently been linked with a transfer to Barcelona or Manchester United, but the former Portugal man believes that the club must do everything they can to keep hold of the 26-year-old, who has not found the net since September for Atleti.

Griezmann 13/10 to score v Real Madrid

“Since he arrived, we’ve seen him in a different way and he’s now considered as one of the best scorers in the world,” he told Goal. “He's a player who's always been important for Atletico. Here, Griezmann grew up and became more important.”

“He’s a fantastic player! He's a very technical scorer and also fast. He's decisive and scored a lot of goals.”

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On the eve of the derby against Real Madrid, Simao back Atleti’s fortunes to improve after a start to the season that has seen them go unbeaten, albeit having drawn five times in 11 league outings.

“Atleti are a team who will always give their best, they’re very competitive and compact, where all players defend and there are just three or four players to attack,” he said. 

“They have had a lot of success, Simeone's philosophy has worked well but this season isn't so good, but they will always give their best on the field, and that's difficult to play against.”