Diego Simeone has attempted to clarify his comments about Lionel Messi that were made in a leaked conversation during the World Cup by insisting the forward would be his choice to have in a team of “great footballers” and not Cristiano Ronaldo.
The conversation, one in which Simeone had with his Atletico assistant, German Burgos, following Argentina’s World Cup loss to Croatia, went viral.
“[Messi] is very good because he is accompanied by extraordinary footballers,” Simeone said in the conversation, before asking Burgos a question. “If you had to choose between Messi and Ronaldo for a normal team, who would you choose?”
Simeone, who has been linked with the Argentina job to replace sacked Jorge Sampaoli, has explained his remarks and said as reported in El Mundo.
“Yes, it was me who said it but I was explaining to German just as a conversation you would have between friends when talking about football,” he said. “I wasn’t talking about who is the best in the world but rather saying that in a normal club, with normal players, Ronaldo would be a better fit. But Messi, surrounded by great footballers, continues to be the best in the world.”
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