Diego Simeone thankful for facing a Lionel Messi-less Barcelona

Lionel Messi tormented Atletico Madrid on numerous occasions during his time as a Barcelona player.

The recent World Cup winner netted 32 goals across 43 matches against Los Rojiblancos, with 26 of those coming in La Liga. In fact, Atleti are Messi’s second favourite team in terms of goals scored, having only netted against Sevilla more.

Diego Simeone has been tormented by his fellow Argentine during his tenure at the club, so it’s understandable that he is relieved that Messi no longer plies his trade in Spain. Speaking of Messi ahead of Sunday’s crunch match against Barcelona, Simeone discussed the influence that he has on the pitch, as per Marca.

“Where Messi is, whether in his team or with Argentina, he will always be decisive, it is normal that when he was there was a chance to win.

“When I played with Maradona I had the feeling that it was very difficult for us to lose, because when you have the best, the chances of winning are always closer.”

Atleti sit in fourth in La Liga, 11 points behind their opponents on Sunday. Simeone stated that he is relishing the test against the league leaders.

“It is a good opportunity to continue growing and improving. To continue working as a team and interpret what we want to achieve in the match”.

Tags Atletico Madrid Barcelona Diego Simeone Lionel Messi
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