Barcelona striker Paco Alcacer claims Atletico Madrid are currently a tougher proposition than their Clasico rivals Real Madrid.
Atleti have continued to confound the critics under Diego Simeone by keeping pace with LaLiga giants Barca and Madrid, even beating the duo to the title in 2014.
Simeone has earned plaudits for his pragmatic, hard-to-beat style at the Vicente Calderon and it is these traits that most impress Alcacer.
“They [Atleti and Madrid] have different types of game,” he told Cadena Cope.
“Atletico Madrid lately is doing better and is more difficult to beat.
“It is evident that Simeone is tough, wanting to win always.”
Alcacer has yet to score in LaLiga since joining Barca from Valencia in the last transfer window.
The 23-year-old is confident of hitting the goal trail soon, though, and insists he will not celebrate if he nets when Barca visit Mestalla later this month.
“We all want that first goal and when you change scenery it is always difficult to adapt and get going,” he added.
“All strikers want goals and if they are not scoring it can overwhelm, but I’ve always said that the most important thing is to be calm in these situations and that [goals] will soon come.
“No, I will not [celebrate]. If it was the first goal or even the 100th. In Valencia I do not celebrate.”