Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has lavished praise on Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi by saying that the 27-year-old is better than the attacking trio of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, and Karim Benzema combined.
This is seen as a direct dig at archrivals Real Madrid in a bid to destabilise them. Many expected Atletico to be a non-challenger in the title race this season, but this has not been the case as Diego Simeone has once again been able to stun the opposition by rebuilding his team in such a short span of time. After the arrival of Fernando Torres in January, the team is looking stronger than ever before.
Incredibly, they remain only four points behind table leaders Madrid although it could potentially widened to seven points if Carlo Ancelotti’s men win the game in hand. Simeone recently witnessed Atletico suffered a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Barcelona in the Copa del Rey.
They missed a chance to reach the semifinals of this competition, but Simeone took this opportunity to say a lot of good things about Messi. Fernando Torres and Raul Garcia scored the goals for Atletico but this was not enough after Neymar’s brace and Miranda’s own goal. Messi failed to score in the tie but he did score in the first leg.
“I have played against both Madrid and Barca, and you can’t compare Cristiano to Barca’s Messi. Messi alone is more dangerous than Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema put together. If they want to play well, they need Messi on the right, and I think they will,” said Simeone. Atletico have lost to Barcelona three times in the last month and this is threatening to destroy the morale within the club. After the good form in recent weeks, Messi now has 21 league goals compared to the 28 of Cristiano Ronaldo.