Southgate bemoans 'really poor' England display against Hungary
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Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has revealed that Luis Suarez called Lionel Messi to try to convince the star to make an extraordinary transfer to Atletico Madrid before he eventually signed for Paris Saint-Germain. The world of football was stunned in the summer when it was announced that Messi would be unable to continue with Barcelona due to their financial difficulties.
As a result the six-time Ballon d’Or winner became available as a free agent, and was linked with a whole host of elite clubs, such as Manchester City and Manchester United.
Messi and Suarez are long-time friends, and formed a fearsome partnership during their time together at Barcelona before Suarez made the move to Atletico.
And speaking in an interview with Argentinean outlet Ole, Simeone said that Suarez tried to get his old teammate to follow him to the Spanish capital – but was unsuccessful in his attempts.
“Let me tell you a detail,” Simeone said when asked about Messi’s situation. “When what happened with Barcelona happened, we called Luis. We didn’t speak to Messi, but Luis did.
“And he asked him how he was, what he was thinking, and if there was even the smallest possibility that he could come to Atletico Madrid.”
Ultimately the dream did not last long, however, with Simeone going on to add that just hours later Messi had effectively sealed his move to PSG.
“But that lasted just three hours,” he continued. “PSG were, evidently, obsessed with signing him. The truth is that the possibility never arose.”
The prospect of Messi linking up with Suarez again would have been a thrilling one, but Simeone believes his compatriot would be happy at any team that have the ability to win major titles.
“I have no doubts, if you ask me where Messi should play, I would simply say in a team that wants to win,” he added.
“In a team that wants to win and in a team that is prepared to win. He doesn’t think about himself, he thinks about the team.”
Messi has got off to a somewhat subdued start to life in Paris, with the 34-year-old scoring just one goal so far.
But big things will be expected of him going forward, and he and the rest of the PSG side will be determined to put things right after they slumped to a shock 2-0 defeat to Rennes in their last game in Ligue 1 before the international break.
They are still five points clear of nearest challengers Lens at the top of the table, however, and will look to extend that lead when they take on Angers on Friday.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side are also under big pressure to win the Champions League for the first time in the club’s history this season.
And they host RB Leipzig on Tuesday as they attempt to maintain their unbeaten record in Europe so far this campaign.
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