Liga – Atletico can be kings of Spain when Messi and Ronaldo retire, claims Simeone
Diego Simeone believes Atletico Madrid will find it easier to break the Real Madrid-Barcelona duopoly once Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo retire.
Barca clinched the La Liga title on Sunday with a 1-0 win at Atletico thanks to another Messi goal, exactly a year after Simeone’s side pipped them to the Spanish league trophy, their first in 18 years, with a 1-1 draw at Camp Nou.
Barcelona players celebrate after winning the Spanish first division title following their soccer match against …
Messi and Ronaldo have topped the leading scoring charts since 2010 and Barcelona and Real have finished in the top two in eight of the last ten seasons.
However, Simeone predicts a brighter future when the illustrious pair retire.
“It’s not easy to play for Atletico. Talent is not enough, the bar is very high. Messi and Ronaldo will not last for 100 years, at some points we’ll get closer,” Simeone said.
“For Altetico to keep wining we can only do one thing – work and fight.”
Atletico were able to capitalise on Barca and Real’s inconsistency in 2013-14 but with one game remaining this term, are left fighting for third place and a berth in the Champions League group stage.
Atletico Madrid’s Argentinian coach Diego Simeone gestures from the sidelines during the Spanish league football …
Simeone’s men face a tricky final match on Saturday at Granada, who are 16th and fighting for the top-flight survival.
Simeone has long maintained that Atletico had little chance of defending their title given the gulf in resources compared to Real and Barca, insisting third place was a more realistic target.
Despite losing top scorer Diego Costa to Chelsea, Atletico have still put together an impressive season, twice beating Real in La Liga, including a 4-0 drubbing of their neighbours at the Calderon in February.