Although it was striker Luis Suarez who helped Barcelona salvage a 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid on Saturday, Lionel Messi too charmed the spectators and opposition coach Diego Simeone with his magical football skills.
“Messi was extraordinary. Every time the ball went through him there was danger,” Simeone said as quoted by AFP.
In a match laced with political tension amid Catalonia’s drive for independence, Messi silenced the 68,000 crowd at Atletico’s new Wanda Metropolitano within seconds of his arrival.
Simeone lauded the atmosphere, saying: The stadium was marvellous. It was a great game between two teams with very different characteristics.”
“I loved the stadium, the fans, (jeers for the opposition) are normal, but it was a great night of football for everyone,” Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde echoed Simeone’s voice.
With the draw, Atletico moved up to third but remained six points behind the leaders Barcelona.
(With inputs from agencies)