Lionel Messi had been a thorn in the side of Atletico Madrid for years, and head coach Diego Simeone alleges he tried to sign him after he left Barcelona. Diego Simeone asked Luis Suarez to approach Lionel Messi about the potential of the six-time Ballon d’Or winner joining Atletico Madrid before the Argentine agreed on a football transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.
Simeone also revealed that he wanted to reunite Suarez and Messi when the Barca legend became available following his departure. “I’ll tell you a detail… With what happened in Barcelona, we called Luis [Suarez],” Simeone told Argentine outlet Ole when asked about any potential move for his compatriot.
“With all due respect, I didn’t call Leo [Messi], but I did call Luis to ask how Messi was doing, if he was eager or if there was a slight possibility that he would come to Atletico.” However, the mission to secure the 34-year-old came to an abrupt end, as Simeone explained: “[It was] something that lasted three hours because PSG was already obsessed with that [signing].”
“He was always at Barcelona, I was always at Atletico [during Messi’s career] and we didn’t coincide as players in the national team,” he continued. “But to me, if you ask me where Messi has to play, I tell you in a team that wants to win, in a team that knows what it has to do to win. It doesn’t matter where he plays, it matters that the team is prepared to win. Don’t think about him, think about the team.”