With the La Liga title on the line, Barcelona will travel to the ever tough Vicente Calderón on Sunday afternoon for a clash with Atlético Madrid, and a victory will clinch the Spanish League trophy for the Blaugrana. And, just like always, the Atleti players are talking a little subtle trash before the match.
Because of the many encounters the two teams have had lately - nine since last season --, there is a little bad blood between the two clubs, and some players on both sides definitely don't like each other. That especially is the case with Neymar Jr., who became a villain after he toyed with the Colchoneros the last time these two teams faced.
Since Atleti cannot win La Liga nor challenge Real Madrid for the second place, and the UEFA Champions League spot for next season is pretty much in the bag, beating Barça has more to do with pride than anything else. They have nothing to lose, and they're going after the Catalans; they do not want to lose at Calderón, and they do not want to see the Blaugrana celebrating the title in Madrid.
And one of the players who's saying some stuff is talented midfielder Koke, who has been linked with a move to Camp Nou for a while now. He was really respectful towards Lionel Messi, but said the Argentine "can't make much of a difference" on Sunday.
Here's his quote from Diario Sport:
"We all know what kind of player Messi is - he's the best in the world but this weekend it will be 11 versus 11 and all of Barça's players are very, very good."
"One player can't make that much of a difference - it's all about the team.
"We hope that Barcelona don't win the league at our ground. We want to finish in third and we're not a side which does favors; we'll be going out to win, as we always do."
That is an interesting quote. It is respectful, but it's also a little subtle shot at Barça. What else would you expect to say, though? That kind of confidence is what makes Atleti such a difficult club to play against.
But, unlike last season, Barcelona has been fantastic against Atléti - three wins in three games --, and one more fantastic performance will give them the championship, at the defending champs' home. It would be awesome.