La Liga 2016/17: Atletico are tougher opponents than Real Madrid, claims Barcelona forward Paco Alcacer
Atletico Madrid are top of the table ahead of Real Madrid and Barcelona
Barcelona forward Paco Alcacer has claimed that Atletico Madrid are a harder side to beat than the Blaugrana’s historical rivals, Real Madrid. The Spanish forward, who signed from Valencia in the summer as backup to Luis Suarez, also went on to reflect about his time in Valencia and noted that he would not celebrate if he scored against Los Che.
Speaking to Spanish radio station Cadena Cope, Alcacer lauded just how hard to beat Diego Simeone’s Atletico side are, saying “They [Atletico and Real Madrid] have different types of game. Atletico Madrid lately is doing better and is more difficult to beat. It is evident that Simeone is tough, wanting to win always.”
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Alcacer does have a point, as Barcelona have struggled to beat Atletico Madrid in the last couple of seasons, with the Rojiblancos most famously knocking out a high-flying Barcelona out of the UEFA Champions League last season. Atletico’s resurgence has been beneficial for La Liga, as they broke the Real-Barcelona duopoly with a league title win in 2014.
Alcacer has struggled after moving from Valencia
Despite being a fourth-choice forward behind Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar Jr, Paco Alcacer represented a significant outlay for Barcelona, as the Catalans parted with €30 million for his services, signing him on a five-year deal from Valencia this summer.
The forward has made 5 appearances for Barcelona this season, but has yet to score. Alcacer noted that the fans need to be patient with him as he adapts to Barcelona’s style of play, saying “We all want that first goal and when you change scenery it is always difficult to adapt and get going.”
“All strikers want goals and if they are not scoring it can overwhelm, but I've always said that the most important thing is to be calm in these situations and that [goals] will soon come.”
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Valencia welcome Paco Alcacer back on the 22nd of October when Barcelona travel to the Mestalla. Alcacer was quizzed whether he would celebrate scoring his first Barcelona goal against Valencia, given his links to Los Che, and his answer was emphatic, saying “No, I will not [celebrate]. If it was the first goal or even the 100th. In Valencia, I do not celebrate.”
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