Atletico star Antoine Griezmann: I have great respect for Cristiano Ronaldo

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Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann has told L’Equipe Magazine he has “great respect” for Cristiano Ronaldo after jokingly telling the Real Madrid star he hates him.

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France international Griezmann, 25, lost out to Portugal captain Ronaldo in both the 2016 Champions League and Euro 2016 finals.

The pair were surprised to come together again shortly after Ronaldo had been crowned European champion at Griezmann’s expense in a restaurant in Miami.

Ronaldo revealed earlier this week Griezmann had told him — in jest — “I hate you,” and Griezmann has stressed that he holds his Madrid rival in high esteem.

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“We came across Cristiano and his friends in the same restaurant,” he said. “It was really by chance. I went to say hello and congratulate him for Portugal’s win at the Euros and the Champions League. We made fun of each other.

“I just joked like that because I needed time to get over the defeat in the final. But, honestly, it’s not because he beat me in two important competitions and that he scored a hat trick last weekend against us that my opinion will change. I have great respect for Ronaldo.”

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