Club football is back in full swing following the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the holiday season is now over. Nonetheless, it isn’t stopping coaches from looking back at what happened in Qatar, as praise for Lionel Messi comes from various coaches.
Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone spoke highly to reporters of the 35-year-old before their match against FC Barcelona on Sunday at the Metropolitano Stadium.
Simeone compared the Paris Saint-Germain star’s influence on teams to that of the late Diego Maradona, who the Atletico Madrid manager played with at the 1994 World Cup.
“When I played the World Cup with Maradona, already a veteran, there was a feeling that it is difficult for us to lose because we have the best,” Simeone said. “And if you have the best it is easier to win.”
MESSI. SIEMPRE MESSI. Las espectaculares palabras del Cholo Simeone para el capitán del actual campeón del mundo. pic.twitter.com/yoL9c19Spi
— SportsCenter (@SC_ESPN) January 7, 2023
The Argentine boss also discussed how Barcelona and any team that loses a player of Messi’s caliber becomes less threatening because of the influence.
“Where Messi is will always be decisive, be it in the national team, in his current team or in Barcelona,” Simeone said. “With a player of Leo’s characteristics, there is a better chance of winning.”
Messi will attempt to influence PSG’s attack in the second half of the 2022-23 season as the French giants look to win the UEFA Champions League. Winning a prestigious club trophy will further solidify Messi’s bid to win the Ballon d’Or in 2023.