Atlético Madrid appears to be on the receiving end of Leo Messi’s goals. For the last seven seasons Messi has scored against the ‘Colchoneros’ (mattress-makers), and tomorrow the Argentine is out for blood.
Martino hit the nail on the head when he said that Messi had the look of an assassin before the Getafe game, and he was right. Messi bagged a brace in Barca’s four nil win in La Copa del Rey.
Leo seems more motivated against Atlético Madrid than any other club to find the net, and he has done so on twenty occasions. Messi has scored 17 times against them in La Liga and 3 times in the Copa del Rey, 12 times at the Camp Nou and 8 a the Vicente Calderón stadium.
The statistics are outstanding and tomorrow looks like being Messi’s first full game after his absence due to his hamstring injury. Atlético’s in-form frontman Diego Costa said that “they have players at the back to stop Messi” and didn’t think tomorrow’s game “was key in their fight for the title”.
Make no mistake, Diego Simeone’s men will take the Catalan giants to the wire, and Barca will have to be prepared for everything. Despite Messi’s great record, he has failed to impress this season against them. He failed to beat Atlético’s keeper Courtois in both the Spanish Supercup matches, and in the first leg failed had to come off due to a minor injury.
However, playing at the Vicente Calderón will bring back good memories for Leo. He bagged a brace in the Catalan team’s epic 6-0 away win in the 2006/07 season and netted a hat-trick 2 years later to win a cup tie in which even the Atlético Madrid fans applauded him for his efforts.
Tomorrow is Messi’s first real test of fire since coming back from injury and the great man is looking forward to this one for sure.