Lionel Messi has set a new personal best with his 400th victory as a senior player for Barcelona. Messi scored a goal and was integral to his side’s victory over Atletico.
The Argentine displayed the vital importance he has had in his time here. This comes amid speculation of tension between Messi and the Barcelona board. The victory against Diego Simeone’s Atletico was his 400th game won as a Barcelona player. Atletico has remained one of Messi’s biggest victims. He averages an impressive goal a game against them. He has scored 22 times in 22 games.
It was Messi’s 277th time winning against a team in La Liga. Messi, now 29 years old, made his debut in 2003. His first game was against Porto who at the time were managed by Jose Mourinho. Since then he has made 369 appearances in LaLiga, 112 in the Champions League, 61 in the Copa del Rey, 15 in the Supercopa de Espana, five at the Club World Cup and four in the UEFA Super Cup.
Barcelona won the game with the narrowest of margins. Messi’s late goal secured them a 2-1 victory. It was an important game for Atletico as well, with their chances of winning the title dwindling after the loss. Atletico are currently in fourth place, ten points behind leaders Real Madrid.
Elsewhere, Real Madrid won 3-2 at the end of an entertaining game against Villarreal. Barcelona defender Gerard Pique commented on what he considers to be referee decisions that offer an advantage to Real’s title chances. Real had benefited from a controversial penalty against Villareal that helped them turn the game around. Sergio Ramos felt the need to defend his team.
“I would be surprised if it would be [Lionel] Messi [to write the tweet].We already know about Pique’s world, where everything’s a plot against him.”
“The referees have a difficult job, we have to try and make them more comfortable. Referees sometimes give you and others take away, but you have to be prepared for everything. We are not going to get into these issues because it will not change anything, the three points will be added and we will continue to be first.”
Barcelona’s victory against Atletico sees them remain one point behind Real. With a lot of speculation about Messi’s future, Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo weighed in. He jokingly talked about wanting to sign the player when asked about Atletico’s plans to keep striker Fernando Torres at Madrid. “At the moment we’re trying to bring Messi in, everything else takes second place to that,” he said.
He was clear however about Diego Simeone’s future at the club. Recent subpar results have not changed the club’s support. “Simeone is our coach,” Cerezo added. “He makes the decisions and we trust in his decisions. We want him to stay.”