Connect with us

Barça News

Former Atletico Madrid defender reveals how Diego Simeone extracted ‘the fear of Messi’ from his players



Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

Few sights in La Liga were as formidable and fear-inducing as confronting Lionel Messi’s Barcelona.

His mastery of the ball was enough to send a shiver down any defender’s spine, and having worn the Blaugrana jersey for 17 seasons, his imprint on the team’s success is etched in the countless records he solidified with Barcelona.

Spanish sides were made to pay for Messi’s genius for nearly two decades, and one of the teams Messi enjoyed tormenting most was Atletico Madrid.

In 43 games, he scored 32 goals against the Rojiblancos, having scored the second-most goals against them, just behind Sevilla FC.

Diego Simeone tried to extract the fear out of his players

Now, former Atletico Madrid left-back Filipe Luis has come out to reveal an interesting anecdote regarding the Atletico Madrid manager before facing off with Messi.

“Before the matches against Barcelona, Simeone didn’t say Messi’s name… He used to call him ‘The Midget’ so that we would not be afraid of him.” Luis remarked, via the Charla Podcast.

While Simeone has been at the end of many magical Messi moments, he did his very best to take the fear out of his players before matching up with the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner.

And one of the means was to downplay his stature by humorously labeling him a “midget”.

A necessary tactic to give his men a psychological boost, Luis’ quote implies Simeone had to employ unconventional methods to demystify Messi and level the playing field.

However, the Argentine manager immensely acknowledged Messi’s talents and has often been publicly vocal about his admiration for the World Cup winner.

And given Messi’s incredible record against Atleti, including late winners and some absolute screamers, it is fair to say Simeone’s attempts largely went in vain.

Trending Articles