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Diego Simeone Criticises Barcelona For Using Lionel Messi's Departure As An Excuse

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Diego Simeone Criticises Barcelona For Using Lionel Messi's Departure As An Excuse

Diego Simeone thinks Barcelona don't have an excuse to the poor start of their season, despite the fact that Lionel Messi left in the summer.

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Ronald Koeman has come under pressure at the Nou Camp after Barcelona's poor start to the season, that has seen them already fall five points behind leaders Real Madrid, after three draws and a loss.

The manager recently said that he can't be expected to do much better than he is with the players in his squad, after losing Messi to PSG for nothing.

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However, Atletico Madrid boss Simeone clearly isn't having any of it, and thinks his club's rivals are simply using the six time Ballon d'Or winner's departure as an excuse.

The Argentina boss thinks that Koeman has plenty of other talented players for Koeman to be more successful, and pointed out he never even had a Messi to lose in winning La Liga last season.

"Barca don’t have Messi?" Simeone asked Argentine tv show Diario Ole rhetorically.

"Look at their team. Sergi Roberto, [Sergino] Dest, [Gerard] Pique, [Clement] Lenglet, [Ronald] Araujo, [Jordi] Alba, [Alejandro] Balde-17 years old, Pedri, Gavi—did you see him vs Italy?

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"[Ousmane] Dembele, [Serigo] Aguero, Ansu [Fati], [Frenkie] De Jong, Memphis [Depay], [Philippe] Coutinho…

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

Whilst Simeone does raise a decent point, and some of his examples are spot on, it is a bit harsh on Barcelona to assume they could keep the same level without Messi.

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The 34-year-old scored 30 goals in La Liga last season and also provided 11 assists for his team and replacing those would always have been tricky.

On top of that, they've not been able to play Aguero yet, and the Atleti boss did leave Martin Braithwaite and Luuk de Jong out of his list funnily enough. Dembele also hasn't been able to play.

Pedri and Gavi can't be expect to carry a team at such a young age and even Fati has only just come back from injury, so there is some mitigating circumstances.

Ansu Fati has only just returned from a long term injury. Image: PA Images
Ansu Fati has only just returned from a long term injury. Image: PA Images
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Of course, there's little doubt in most people's minds that Koeman should be doing better, with their poor league start also backed up by two 3-0 losses in the Champions League.

Whilst Simeone said he's never had a Messi, he certainly wanted one. The two time La Liga winning boss actually tried to sign the PSG forward, even getting Luis Suarez to speak to his former Barca teammate.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: La Liga, Diego Simeone, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Ronald Koeman, Lionel Messi

Ryan Sidle
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