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Filipe Luis: "Lionel Messi is So Good He Could Win La Liga With a Mediocre Team”

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The Atletico Madrid defender praised Messi and Pique

FC Barcelona v Atletico Madrid - Copa Del Rey Semi-final: Second Leg Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Filipe Luis has come out in praise of his opponent Lionel Messi, saying the Argentine could win La Liga with even a mediocre team. The tough-tackling Atletico Madrid and Brazil left-back has been frequently in direct confrontation with Messi on the pitch.

Barcelona have been on top in these years because of him. Because Barcelona are able to create constant internal controversies. It seems that they like that. But Messi is so good, soooo good, that he sustains them despite what's going on. When Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo score 50 goals people think it's because the defenders are bad, but when they're not there, nobody else scores so many goals - and we're the same defenders. It's difficult for everyone and easy for them, they're on another level.

The Brazilian has faced Messi often, at times even being sent off trying to bring him down. "It's impossible to stop Messi one-on-one without fouls," he admitted. "If Messi comes at me with the ball and I'm alone, without fouls or anything else untoward, I'd get the ball once in 20 times. You have to play with other weapons."

Filipe Luis also had good words for Gerard Pique.

I'm a fan of Pique although sometimes I don't agree with what he says. But he dares to say it, like [Alvaro] Arbeloa. They are people who aren't afraid to say what they think, who don't hide away afterwards. Well done to them, it's admirable, and I wish more players were like them.

(h/t Diario SPORT)