Menotti: Messi, Madrid & El Clasico

Cesar Luis Menotti has given his thoughts on some of the major topics in Spanish football, including Lionel Messi and El Clasico.

Menotti coached Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in a lengthy career, and won the World Cup as Argentina Coach in 1978.

Speaking to Onda Cero, Menotti gave his views on Messi, Neymar and Tata Martino.

“It was obvious Messi was out of focus, not fit and it was due to a physical rather than mental fatigue,” Menotti said.

“Every time he comes on the pitch he has delivered. He can take four balls and create three goals. He’s not holding back for the World Cup.

“I don’t think Martino will resign from Barca. If he does it won’t be because of the pressure.

“It’s difficult for a Coach who has a work of art to just keep it, because all Coaches want to change something.

“Neymar is a young man, with amazing qualities. But he needs to learn to play, because he still cannot play this game that well.

“He has to adapt and get stronger because I see he’s declined physically, maybe because of what he’s been through mentally.”

Talk turned to Atleti and Menotti revealed that while he’s not particularly a fan of Diego Simeone’s style of play, the results are harder to contest.

“He’s convinced the team. I don’t like the way Atletico play but I have to admit he transformed them into having a will to fight and compete.

“All that must be seen in adversity but obviously everything he has done at Atletico has great merit.”

Menotti was asked for his thoughts on Jose Mourinho’s time at Real Madrid and he compared the Portuguese to his successor.

“Mourinho tried everything [to beat] Barca. It was fun for the Catalans.

“The Clasico is something that could never be resolved. I think losing the first game 5-0 conditioned his career in Madrid.

“I never knew the answer. Sometimes it was amazing to look at his bench and see the players he had.

“Carlo Ancelotti is more peaceful, maybe dull, but some players are better with that.

“It seems Madrid have more peace now than before Ancelotti, when it was more about urgency. It has transformed Madrid into the most consistent side.”

Asked for his thoughts about the World Cup, Menotti doubted the conventional wisdom that says Brazil will go far and also criticised the state of football in Argentina.

“Brazil has become a hard-working team, but they have some art. Everyone thinks Brazil will be in the final but I think it will be difficult for them.

“The status of Argentine football? Every day we get worse. We are nothing: 22 crazies on a pitch.”

Tags 2014 World Cup Argentina Brazil Carlo Ancelotti Diego Simeone Jose Mourinho Lionel Messi Menotti Neymar Tata Martino