Diego Simeone reveals he rang Luis Suarez in an 'attempt' to sign Messi
"I did call Luis to ask how Messi was doing"
Diego Simeone has revealed that he attempted to sign Lionel Messi from Barcelona during the summer following a phone call with Luis Suarez.
Messi's time at Barcelona came to an end in the summer when his contract expired, with the Catalan giants unable to re-sign the Argentine forward due to financial problems and La Liga rules.
The 34-year-old had spent his entire professional career at the Camp Nou before making a sensational move to French giants Paris Saint-Germain, where he joined a formidable attack that already boasted Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
However, the Atletico Madrid manager tried to steal the six-time Ballon d'Or winner from under Barca's noses after invoking the help of Messi's best friend, Suarez.
Colchoneros had just been crowned La Liga champions and Simeone was understandably keen to add to their ranks.
Speaking to Ole magazine, via Marca, Simeone said: "I'll tell you a detail, when all this happened at Barcelona we called Luis [Suarez].
"With all due respect, I did not call Leo, but I did call Luis to ask how Messi was doing, if he was eager or if there was a slight possibility that he would come to Atlético.
"That lasted three hours, because PSG was already obsessed with that incorporation.
"If it was something? No, not at all, you see the plane passing through the sky and you say here it comes, well…"
Diego Simeone says that his hopes of bringing Leo Messi to Atletico lasted 3 hours 😨 pic.twitter.com/1kQ05WbJeO
— International Champions Cup (@IntChampionsCup) October 12, 2021
Messi and Suarez are good friends due to their South American connection and time they spent together at Barcelona, with it being well documented how upset the Argentine was with how the former Liverpool striker was sold in 2020.
Despite Barca boss Ronald Koeman telling the Uruguayan that he wasn't needed at the club anymore, he has been a revelation in Madrid and scored 21 times in La Liga as Atletico won the title ahead of Barcelona and Real Madrid.
It remains to be seen whether Messi would have even considered moving to Barca's rivals Atletico, but Simeone revealed what sort of impact the PSG star would have on any team he plays in.
He said: "There were no situations to direct him. He was always at Barcelona, I was in Spain at Atlético and we don't coincide as players in the national team.
"But to me, he transmits that to me. If you ask me where Messi has to play, I tell you in a team that wants to win. On a team that knows what it has to do to win.
"It doesn't matter what he plays, it matters that the team is prepared to win. Don't think about him, think about the team."
Atletico Madrid secured a 2-0 victory over Barcelona earlier this month - a result that increased the pressure on under-fire manager Koeman.
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