Thursday, May 25, 2017

Simeone lauds ego-free MSN ahead of Barcelona clash

SoccerNews in La Liga 29 Jan 2016

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Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone believes humility and a lack of ego are both key to the success of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar in Barcelona’s attack.

Simeone’s side will be tasked with stopping the ‘MSN’ trio at Camp Nou on Saturday in a top-of-the-table clash that could prove crucial in shaping La Liga’s title race.

Messi, Suarez and Neymar scored 122 goals last term to help Barca claim an historic treble and their collective tally this season already stands at 71.

Assessing the threat of Barca’s forward line, Simeone told reporters: “Their frontline trio are top quality, so we will need to be fully focused and on our toes for the full 90 minutes.

“Signing Suarez has strengthened things and the beautiful thing about them is there’s no jealously between their front men. They have a healthy, happy relationship and for those of us who love football, that’s a wonderful thing.

“Barca are the best team in the world and those three forwards show a remarkable amount complicity, something that is rare to see.

“Usually jealously exists among players, egos getting in the way of each other, but it’s the complete opposite there.”

Second-place Atletico sit level on points with Barca, who have a game in hand, while they also remaining in the hunt for Champions League success, although a Copa del Rey exit at the hands of Celta Vigo on Wednesday has dampened an impressive first half to their season.

Atleti have only scored 12 goals in eight games since the turn of the year – Antoine Griezmann with half of them – but Simeone has faith in misfiring strikers Jackson Martinez and Fernando Torres.

“I rate the team as highly as ever,” he added. “We are still in a good position in La Liga, we were knocked out of the Copa del Rey because Celta were better on the day.

“But we are still alive and kicking in the Champions League and I think we are in very good shape.

“Being a forward is a demanding and competitive position when there are massive games to play. Hopefully we will see them perform on Saturday.”

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