The interminable ‘Lionel Messi versus Cristiano Ronaldo’ debate is one of modern football’s most tedious, with both players’ respective greatness now defined, revised and redefined/denounced every passing 90 minutes.
While it’s perfectly acceptable to prefer one to the other, true pilgrims know and accept that both players are exceptional; different, but exceptional nonetheless.
Spanish radio station Partidazo de COPE have happened across a snippet of leaked audio which they assert to be a conversation between Simeone and Mono Burgos, his right-hand man at Atleti, conducted in which the former firmly nails his colours to the Ronaldo mast.
Audio del Cholo Simeone to ‘ Mono ‘ Burgos: ➡ “Messi is good but because it is accompanied by extraordinary footballers. For a normal team, think Germán… Messi or Christian? Who would you choose? ”
🎙 Audio del Cholo Simeone al ‘Mono’ Burgos:
➡ “Messi es bueno pero porque está acompañado de extraordinarios futbolistas. Para un equipo normal, piénsalo Germán… ¿Messi o Cristiano? ¿A quién elegirías?” pic.twitter.com/xdXpl28gs3
— El Partidazo de COPE (@partidazocope) June 21, 2018
The audio was supposedly captured after Simeone and Burgos – both former Argentina players – had just watched Messi and the rest of their national side succumb to a pallid 3-0 defeat against Croatia.
During the clip, Simeone is heard saying:
Messi is very good, but he is very good because he plays alongside extraordinary players (at Barcelona).
If you had to choose between Messi and Ronaldo for a normal team, who would you choose?
According to Football Espana, the Atleti boss also comments on the “anarchy” within the Argentina squad and the role coach Jorge Sampaoli is playing, or not playing, therein.
I do not see anyone leading, it is anarchy and not leadership. I see a team who is lost.
It is clear that in the dressing room players are holding on to fists but in these situations, you need someone to fight.
We all say the players are the most important part of the game and the coach usually plays it down when players mess it up, but the coach is also participating in this.
Well, he’s not wrong, is he? Still, the manager of Atletico siding with Real Madrid’s top boy may well caused a few ructions in the Spanish capital.
Pies can only imagine Simeone would make a decent fist of leading a Messi-centric Argentina team into a World Cup, if only the fates would’ve allowed it.