During his coaching career, Diego Simeone encountered Messi many times when this player was still at Barcelona. Knowing that Atletico Madrid players often feel scared every time they have to meet Messi, the Argentine strategist has a special method to help them relieve it.
Recently sharing with Marca newspaper, former defender Filipe Luis told this story: “At Atletico Madrid, Diego Simeone often sends 4 people to accompany Messi. So if he scores, no one is at fault, only Simply because he is so excellent. Before every match against Barcelona, Simeone often avoids mentioning Messi’s name. Instead, he uses the word ‘dwarf’ so that we don’t feel afraid every time we face Messi.”
However, this psychological “trick” of Diego Simeone is not very effective. At Barca, Messi faced Atletico 42 matches in all competitions and scored 32 goals. In addition, he also contributed 9 more assists.
The player who owns 8 Golden Balls is a fear not only for the players, but also for Diego Simeone himself. In La Liga in the 2015-2016 season, an interesting story became typical for this coach to always be cautious with famous players from his country.
In the 51st minute of that match, Fernando Torres helped Atletico open the score. While the players celebrated, Diego Simeone appeared indifferent. After the match, the media asked him about this reaction. He replied that he did not celebrate because he saw Messi warming up on the sideline.
Simeone’s worries are completely well-founded. In the 55th minute, Neymar scored the equalizer. In the 60th minute, Messi entered the field and took only 17 minutes to score, helping Barca successfully come back.
Currently, Diego Simeone is still leading Atletico Madrid. He has been in this position for more than 12 years. Meanwhile, Messi left Barca in 2021 to play for Paris Saint-Germain and then Inter Miami.