Atlético Madrid


Koke pleased with Atletico display against Barcelona, Messi

After holding Barcelona to a 1-1 draw, Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke was satisfied with his side's display.

Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke praised his side for their performance and ability to contain Lionel Messi in a 1-1 draw against Barcelona.

Saul Niguez's first-half goal was cancelled out by Luis Suarez at the Wanda Metropolitano as Atletico ended Barca's perfect start to the LaLiga season on Saturday.

After helping Diego Simeone's men keep Messi below his usual match-winning best, Koke said it was a team effort.

"We already know Messi, who has so much quality that he can score a goal at any time," he said.

"We have done everything possible to stop him... it's hard to stop a player like that but I think it's done by everyone."

The result saw Atletico remain unbeaten in the league this season, sitting third and six points behind Barca.


Messi 'tired' after recent heroics, says Valverde

Lionel Messi's latest heroics for club and country have left him fatigued, Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde believes Lionel Messi is "tired" after his Argentina heroics and having helped his club to a 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid.

Messi played his fourth full game of the month as Luis Suarez's goal saw Barca salvage a point at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday.

Days after scoring a brace against Las Palmas, Messi played two games for Argentina – including scoring a hat-trick in Ecuador to lead his nation into the World Cup.

After his side's draw with Atletico, Valverde said Messi was fatigued, but he praised the forward for what he could bring to Barca – even when below his best.

"I agree that Leo is tired after the games he's had to play, but we know he'll always respond in any situation," he said.

"We know how much fear he instils in the opposing players and fans."


Valverde content with draw after 'great game' at Atletico

While Barcelona enjoyed a host of chances against Atletico Madrid, Ernesto Valverde was content with a point having come from behind.

Ernesto Valverde was happy to take a point away from Atletico Madrid after Barcelona trailed for much of their clash at Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday.

Saul Niguez's 21st-minute strike looked set to secure a valuable home win for Diego Simeone's men, but Luis Suarez hit back eight minutes from time to earn a result Barca's second-half performance deserved.

While the visitors had further chances to take all three points, Valverde was content with a draw that keeps his side unbeaten in LaLiga after eight matches this season.

"I have a positive feeling from the game," he said. "We must value a point against a great rival who had taken the lead - Atletico manage normally manage their lead very well.


Simeone lauds Barcelona's 'extraordinary' Messi

Although Saul Niguez and Luis Suarez were on the scoresheet as Atletico Madrid took on Barcelona, Diego Simeone's focus was on Lionel Messi.

Diego Simeone lauded Barcelona's Lionel Messi after he starred in a draw with Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

Messi was not on the scoresheet against Simeone's Atleti, but he struck the post in the second half and was influential in building Barca's momentum ahead of Luis Suarez's late equaliser.

Simeone picked out his compatriot - who fired Argentina to the 2018 World Cup with a hat-trick against Ecuador earlier this week - for particular praise as he revelled in the occasion at Wanda Metropolitano.

"The stadium was wonderful, we had another night of brilliant football, and with the impressive Messi - extraordinary," the Atleti head coach said.

"Messi was the only one who you could see where, every time he touched the ball, something different could happen. 


Atletico Madrid 1 Barcelona 1: Suarez denies Simeone's men late on

Barcelona's unbeaten run against Atletico Madrid and Diego Simeone in LaLiga continued with Luis Suarez's late equaliser on Saturday.

Diego Simeone's winless run against Barcelona in LaLiga continued as Luis Suarez's late equaliser held Atletico Madrid to a 1-1 draw at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Atleti have now not won in their last 15 league meetings with Barca - a run that stretches back to February 2010, almost two years prior to Simeone's appointment.

It appeared as though that miserable streak would finally end on Saturday, as Saul Niguez's stylish first-half strike looked to have set up a victory for the hosts over a Barca team that had won its first seven matches this term.

But leaders Barca built momentum in the second half, with Lionel Messi striking the post and spurning further chances before the leveller deservedly arrived.


Valverde responds to Simeone: Barca will adapt to everything, even the dishes!

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde is ready for the challenge against Atletico Madrid, even if the pitch is prepared to his opponents' liking.

Ernesto Valverde insists Barcelona will adapt to everything – even the dishes – at Atletico Madrid's new stadium amid a debate over the length of the grass.

Ahead of Saturday's huge LaLiga clash between the two teams, Diego Simeone suggested the pitch would be prepared to Atletico's liking.

But Valverde responded in his own pre-match media conference, insisting Barca were ready for the challenge ahead of their first game at Wanda Metropolitano.

Simeone had said: "I'm not a gardener, I'm a coach, I go to the pitch and I prepare the team. But when you invite me to your house, you invite me with your tablecloth, your plates and your cups."

Addressing those comments, Valverde stated: "We will adapt to the menu, to the dishes, to everything!


He could win LaLiga for a mediocre team - Filipe Luis in awe of Messi

Filipe Luis will go up against Lionel Messi again on Saturday and concedes that playing the "butcher" role is the only way to stop him.

Atletico Madrid full-back Filipe Luis championed Lionel Messi as he gets set to go head-to-head with the Barcelona star on Saturday, declaring his belief that the Argentina superstar could take a "mediocre team" to LaLiga title success.

Messi has been in irresistible form so far this season for Barca, scoring 11 league goals in seven matches as the Catalan giants have taken control at the top of the table.

The 30-year-old provided another timely reminder of his immense ability during the international break, netting a hat-trick as Argentina crucially beat Ecuador 3-1 to avoid an embarrassing failure to qualify for the World Cup.

And Filipe Luis accepts he will likely have to play the "butcher" role again to stop Messi when Barca visit the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday, as there is no other way to halt the forward.


Ballon d'Or nominees: Mertens, Suarez and Ramos join final 30

Three of the first 10 Ballon d'Or nominations are Real Madrid players after Sergio Ramos was named alongside Barcelona rival Luis Suarez.

Napoli forward Dries Mertens has joined Barcelona star Luis Suarez and Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos in the latest batch of Ballon d'Or nominations.

Liverpool attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho and Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak make up the rest of the five to be announced in France Football's second quintet.

That means the first 10 of a total of 30 nominees for the 2017 prize have been announced.

Paulo Dybala, Neymar, Luka Modric, Marcelo and N'Golo Kante were the names to be released first earlier.

The remaining candidates for football's top individual prize will be announced throughout Monday.

Last year's award, which was the first since France Football and FIFA's collaboration ended, was won by Cristiano Ronaldo, ahead of Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann.


Juanfran convinced Atletico Madrid can win Champions League

After losing in the final of the Champions League twice in the last four seasons, Juanfran says Atletico Madrid can win the competition.

Juanfran remains convinced Atletico Madrid can win the Champions League after the LaLiga side suffered painful defeats in two of the last four finals.

Real Madrid proved to be too strong for their city rivals on both occasions, denying Diego Simeone's men the chance to claim their maiden title in the competition.

Atletico have made a poor start to this season's edition, drawing away to Roma and losing at home to Premier League champions Chelsea, leaving them third in Group C ahead of a double-header with bottom side Qarabag.

Although Atletico have a lot of work to do if they are to make it into the knockout rounds of the tournament, right-back Juanfran is sure Atletico will win the Champions League one day.


No Barca fans for trip to Atletico

Barcelona will make the trip to Atletico Madrid following the international break on October 14 without fans, the LaLiga leaders announced.

There will be a lack of travelling Barcelona supporters for their showdown with Atletico Madrid at Wanda Metropolitano due to logistical reasons.

Barca will make the trip to Madrid following the international break on October 14 without fans, the LaLiga leaders announced on Wednesday.

Applications for the match have been cancelled as Atletico cannot supply the tickets previously offered at the newly-built stadium, though 62 members who already made a purchase are guaranteed to attend.

It comes after Barca defeated Las Palmas 3-0 behind closed doors at Camp Nou last week amid political tensions over the Catalan independence referendum.

The iconic stadium was empty after the Barca board decided to play the fixture without fans after their request to have the match postponed was rejected by LaLiga.


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