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Atletico Madrid can't compete while Messi and Ronaldo are around: Diego Simeone

2.13K   //    20 May 2015, 18:51 IST
Diego Simeone
Diego Simeone feels that the gap to Real Madrid and Barcelona will close after Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi retires

Madrid, May 20 (IANS) Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone believes his side will find it easier to break the stranglehold that FC Barcelona and Real Madrid have over the La Liga title once the attacking megastar duo of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo retires from football.

Over the past ten seasons, Barcelona and Real Madrid have finished first and second in La Liga eight times with Atletico being the only side to win the La Liga other than the two heavyweights since Valencia clinched the title in 2004.

Barcelona have already claimed this season's league title. Argentine Messi, 27, and Portuguese Ronaldo, 30, are routinely judged to be the two best footballers of the world with the duo sharing the Ballon D'Or trophy, given to the best player of the year, since 2008.

The duo have also topped La Liga's top scorer's list since 2010. Ronaldo is this season's current leading scorer with 45 goals.

"It's not easy to play for Atletico. Talent is not enough, the bar is very high. Messi and Ronaldo will not last for 100 years, at some points we'll get closer," Simeone was quoted as saying by on Wednesday.

"For Atletico to keep winning we can only do one thing - work and fight."

The Argentine added Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti is bearing the brunt of his side's trophy failure this season.

"The way he is being judged makes me angry because when you win, you win as one," he added.

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