Atletico Madrid News

Diego Simeone Insists Atletico Madrid Did Not Try Signing Lionel Messi

Simeone denies Atletico tried to sign Messi
Simeone denies Atletico tried to sign Messi / Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Diego Simeone has dismissed reports that Atletico Madrid made an approach to sign Lionel Messi after the Argentine announced he would leave Barcelona.

Messi left Barca after spending 21 years at the club and was snapped up by Paris Saint-Germain on a two-year deal. However, there was speculation that he could be reunited with Luis Suarez at Atletico, but Simeone has admitted his side never had any hope of signing his compatriot.

"You can see that Barcelona's situation caused this exit and that it was huge for our league because of the standing Messi has in La Liga and in Barcelona," Simeone said. "It is clear that we were not talking to him and did not have the slightest chance of taking him."

LaLiga now is without Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but Simeone believes there is life after them, and pointed to the Premier League to explain that the league continues to dominate despite the Ballon d'Or winners playing elsewhere.

"I understand that in the English league Messi and Ronaldo are not there either and it is one of the biggest leagues in the world," he added. "It will be every team's competitiveness and growth, without Messi and Ronaldo, that makes this a competitive league, just like in England which has neither of the pair."

Simeone also talked about Atletico's title chances this season, but refused to look ahead to the prospect of repeating the feat. "We will not change our approach, which is to take things one game at a time, to see what path the league takes," he said. "There is no better way to compete than how we have been doing for the last nine and a half years."