Diego Simeone never had a chance of signing Lionel Messi for Atletico Madrid

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Once it was clear that Lionel Messi was a free agent and was, incredibly, leaving Barcelona after two decades, some of the European football’s biggest clubs would’ve been doing themselves a disservice if they didn’t at least crunch the numbers to see if a potential move was possible.

Perhaps only one or two clubs were ever in the race and could afford his salary demands, but that didn’t stop Diego Simeone making a cheeky enquiry.

With Luis Suarez having become close friends with Messi during their time together at Barcelona, Diario Ole cited by Get Spanish Football News detail Simeone’s approach to the Uruguayan.

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“With all due respect, I didn’t call Leo [Messi], but I did call Luis [Suarez] to ask him how Messi was and if there was even the slightest possibility of him coming to Atletico,” the Argentinian noted.

“This was something that lasted three hours because PSG were already obsessed with the signing. Did it come to anything? No, nothing, you see the plane passing through the sky and you say here he comes, well, that’s how it is (laughs).”

Messi v Atletico

Even if the Rojiblancos had managed to cobble together enough euros to tempt Messi to swap Barcelona for the red and white half of Madrid, it would’ve been a football marriage destined to failure.

Atleti play a much more direct and physical game than Barcelona ever have, and it’s not a footballing model that relies on the quick, short passes that often define Messi’s game.

Moreover, Barca’s way of playing over the last decade or so has arguably been designed around their former No.10.

Suarez on the other hand fits like hand in glove at the Wanda Metropolitano, principally because his strengths in play are aligned with Atleti’s way of working.

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