Simeone salutes Messi's Argentina heroics

Diego Simeone is under no illusions that Lionel Messi is the world's best player after his recent one-man rescue job for Argentina.

Diego Simeone... "He showed to those that don't believe that he's the best player in the world."   -  Getty Images

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone believes Barcelona star Lionel Messi has proved to doubters he is the world's best player by securing Argentina's place at the World Cup with a marvellous hat-trick.

Argentina went into its final World Cup qualifier staring elimination in the face, but Messi stepped up when it needed him the most and inspired a 3-1 win in Ecuador.

Read: Barcelona will not rest Lionel Messi, says Valverde

The Barcelona forward scored all three goals in an unstoppable display to rescue La Albiceleste, meaning Messi goes into Saturday's meeting with Simeone's Atletico in blistering form. And Simeone, who insists he always had faith in Argentina, believes that such a performance is what sets Messi apart from the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar, making him the best in the world.

"Of course I saw the match [Argentina]," he told reporters. "And I was really calm because I knew the match would come to our side, even if they didn't get a great start. They never lost focus on the match and Messi did what every single Argentinian wanted and asked for. He showed to those that don't believe that he's the best player in the world. It's obvious."

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :