Lionel Messi: Diego Simeone claims Barcelona squad is good enough despite star's PSG transfer

Simeone

Diego Simeone is not a man for excuses. 

That much is obvious when looking at the passion and emotion in his antics on the touchline and, frankly, it's an approach that has worked to huge success.

Indeed, his Atletico Madrid side are La Liga champions for the second time under his watch and, given the problems at Barcelona and Real Madrid, few would bet against them winning the title again. 

Interestingly, Simeone - not exactly a shrinking violet - has waded in some of the drama currently encapsulating one of his main rivals. 

Lionel Messi leaving Camp Nou was perhaps the major footballing story of 2021 and undoubtedly leaves La Liga weaker. That's not to say there's not a huge amount of quality coursing through the division nor to suggest Barcelona are no longer a good team. 

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Ronald Koeman may not be convincing in his job at the moment but, frankly, Simeone has little time for any excuses suggesting Messi's departure alone is the reason for the slide. 

Speaking to Argentine TV station Diario Ole, the 51-year-old literally listed the kind of stars Koeman has available to him, lamenting any talk that Barca lack firepower without the Argentine forward. 

“Barça don’t have Messi?" he asked, rhetorically. 

"Look at their team. Sergi Roberto, Dest, Piqué, Lenglet, Araujo, Alba, Balde-17 years old, Pedri, Gavi—did you see him vs Italy?, Dembele, Agüero, Ansu, De Jong, Memphis, Coutinho…

"You lost Messi? We never had Messi. Nah, don’t give me excuses.”

Clearly, Simeone is right. 

For the first time in years, Barcelona again have a strong nucleus of La Masia academy graduates to call upon, supplementing their star signings. Now, not all of those headline additions have worked out of course, though that is largely an internal matter, rather than anything forced upon the club.

Barcelona's mess is of their own making. 

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