Liverpool forward Sadio Mane was more deserving of the Best FIFA Men's Player award in 2019 than Barcelona star Lionel Messi, according to France great Alain Giresse.

After guiding Barca to LaLiga glory and the semi-finals of the Champions League last season, Messi won the accolade for a sixth time back in September – he was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 2009 and claimed four Ballons d'Or while it was backed by world football's governing body.

Mane finished fifth in the voting, behind Liverpool team-mates Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah, and Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

But Giresse, who coached Mane during his time in charge of Senegal between 2013 and 2015, insists the 28-year-old should have finished top after starring for Liverpool on their way to Champions League success.

"I definitely would have put Sadio Mane ahead of Messi, in terms of the season they had last season," he told ESPN.

"When I was head coach of Senegal, Sadio was still young but he had ahead of him an enormous potential, a technical potential, and a moral potential to go on to become a great player, as he has become today."

Giresse, named French Player of the Year three times in the 1980s, was Tunisia head coach until August and should have been eligible to vote.

"I didn't receive the ballot sheet, so it wasn't me who voted [on Tunisia's behalf]. I can't say who did, but it wasn't me," he said. The top pick credited to Giresse was Ronaldo, with Van Dijk second and Messi third.

Former Bordeaux and Marseille midfielder Giresse also managed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at international level with Gabon. 

Aubameyang shared the Premier League Golden Boot with Mane and Salah last season and Giresse believes the Arsenal striker is now among the world's best.

"I launched Pierre-Emerick with the Gabon national team, at the start of his development, his expansion and his progression," he said.

"We can all see his pathway and the level he's reached now. We're talking about [him moving to] Real Madrid, so it shows how this player has reached a world-class level, and you could say the same about Sadio."

Antoine Griezmann has become "a caricature of himself" at Barcelona, where his former Real Sociedad boss feels a toxic environment is taking its toll.

Quique Setien has named Griezmann on the bench for three of Barca's past four games, including important meetings with top-four hopefuls Sevilla and Atletico Madrid.

The World Cup winner was not sent on until the 90th minute against Atletico on Tuesday, with Ansu Fati introduced ahead of him in the 2-2 draw at Camp Nou.

Barca will fall four points behind Real Madrid with five games remaining if LaLiga's leaders beat Getafe on Thursday, with reports suggesting Setien has lost the backing of his players.

Martin Lasarte, who handed Griezmann his professional debut as an 18-year-old in the Segunda Division with La Real, believes the atmosphere at Barca is having a negative effect on the France star's adaptation to the team.

"What you see of Griezmann is like a caricature of himself. I see him sad, with his head down, running without much sense," Lasarte told Radio Marca.

"The coach has every right to make changes whenever he wants but I do not feel the other night [against Atletico] helped Griezmann's psychological situation.

"When things don't go well for a player, the coach should be there to support and help. Of course, Antoine will have his responsibility but there is an environment that does not help him to succeed.

"It would have been better if he had gone to Barca a year earlier. I have the feeling that when he said he was staying at Atletico something broke with the Barca dressing room."

Barca sacked Ernesto Valverde when they were top of the league in January and Lasarte thinks that sapped the momentum Griezmann was starting to build.

"Griezmann may have had a hard time adapting at first but then I felt he improved in December and January. Now he conveys a sad, down feeling," he said.

"The truth is I don't know if the change of coach at Barca was the most successful, it has not given the feeling of having improved much.

"That surely has also influenced Griezmann's situation."

Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann has no interest in leaving the LaLiga giants.

Speculation over the France international's future has increased amid his, and Barca's, struggles.

But the 29-year-old seemingly wants more than one season at Barcelona.

 

TOP STORY – GRIEZMANN NOT INTERESTED IN BARCELONA EXIT

Griezmann has no interest in leaving Barcelona, according to Le Parisien.

Since arriving from Atletico Madrid for €120million, Griezmann has managed just 14 goals in 43 games this season.

Griezmann was introduced as a 90th-minute substitute in Barca's 2-2 draw with his former club on Tuesday.

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Camp Nou and Quique Setien's future as Barcelona head coach remains a talking point after one win in four games. AS reports Setien is not in immediate danger but is far from safe, while Sport says his future is uncertain, although the club are hoping to keep him at the helm until the end of the season.

- Manchester City look set for a rebuild in the close season. The Guardian claims Bayern Munich defender David Alaba, who is out of contract next year, is a target for the Premier League giants.

- After making a stellar start to the season with Lyon before suffering a serious knee injury, Memphis Depay has been linked with a move. Le 10 Sport reports Arsenal want the attacker, who has 14 goals in 18 games this season.

- Carlos Tevez's future remains uncertain. Ole says the former Manchester United and Manchester City forward, 36, could retire as he struggles to agree to a new contract with Boca Juniors.

- With Bruno Lage on his way out as Benfica coach, the Portuguese giants are searching for a new boss. According to A Bola, Benfica have looked at the likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Ernesto Valverde and Laurent Blanc, but are now considering former Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal coach Unai Emery.

- Tottenham defender Serge Aurier could be set for a move. Sky Sports reports Monaco are interested in the Ivory Coast right-back.

Newell's Old Boys vice-president Cristian D'Amico is still hopeful Barcelona star Lionel Messi may one day return to the club.

Messi, 33, left Newell's for Barcelona in 2001 and has developed into one of the best players of all-time, winning a record six Ballons d'Or.

The Argentina captain has spoken about potentially returning to Newell's previously and D'Amico is hopeful, with the club having seen Diego Maradona arrive in 1993 after he starred in Europe.

"I don't know if it's impossible," he told TNT Sports.

"It's a decision exclusively made by him and his family. We have to have the best possible context to help make a decision.

"When Maradona came to Newell's, nobody thought that he would come either. I hope to do something similar with Leo."

Messi is contracted at Camp Nou until next year, although will reportedly extend that deal until 2023.

D'Amico is staying calm about the star's potential return to Newell's, saying: "Obviously, that's not to be selling smoke.

"It's a difficult topic. What Newell's fan would not dream to see the best player in the world with the jersey of their team on? Time might allow such things, you have to be calm."

Eden Hazard will soon be firing on all cylinders for Real Madrid but Zinedine Zidane has warned he will remain a target for opposing players.

The former Chelsea star has not had the expected impact since arriving in the Spanish capital in June last year.

Having dazzled at Stamford Bridge, the Belgian's maiden campaign in LaLiga has been disrupted by injury and he underwent ankle surgery in March.

Since the return from the coronavirus-enforced break, Hazard has been substituted in all four games he has played in, but he has also continued to be met with some rough treatment, drawing regular fouls.

Madrid coach Zidane, who has guided his side to the top of LaLiga ahead of Thursday's visit of Getafe, sees nothing sinister in the way opponents deal with Hazard but says he can expect more of the same as the 29-year-old seeks to rediscover his fitness and best form.

"He's very good and the opponents know it," Zidane said when asked about the number of fouls committed against Hazard. 

"But there's no intention of hurting any player.

"We have to be calm with Eden. He's been off the pitch for a long time and you have to go easy on him.

"He'll be fine in a little while."

Another player in the Madrid ranks not having quite the season he will have hoped for is James Rodriguez.

The Colombia international has spoken freely of his frustration at not getting enough playing time at the Santiago Bernabeu, and Zidane understands how he feels.

"James is telling the truth," said the Frenchman. "He wants to play more and that's normal. I understand that.

"But we're going to go until the end like this."

Zinedine Zidane is adamant the title race is far from over in LaLiga, insisting Real Madrid "have won absolutely nothing" yet despite Barcelona's recent wobble.

Leaders Madrid hold a one-point lead over their rivals and also have a game in hand – they host Getafe on Thursday aiming to make it six successive wins since the 2019-20 season resumed in Spain.

In contrast, Barca have struggled for consistency in recent weeks. The reigning champions drew for a third time in four outings on Tuesday, twice pegged back by Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou.

Having picked up four points in the two Clasico contests during the campaign, giving them the added buffer of the head-to-head advantage, Los Blancos are now firm favourites to finish on top.

Zidane, however, is refusing to take anything for granted.

"We haven't won anything [yet]," the Madrid boss told the media on Wednesday. "We have six games. Eighteen points.

"Until we are mathematically champions, we have to keep going, our rivals are going to do everything they can to win their games.

"No confidence and no saying, 'this is over'.

"I've experienced this situation as a player. We have won absolutely nothing."

A goal from Casemiro was enough for Zidane's side to overcome struggling Espanyol 1-0 at the weekend, boosting their bid to win the league for the first time since 2017.

With neighbours Atletico helping them out by holding Barca, Madrid have the opportunity to move four points clear at the summit when they face fifth-placed Getafe.

"I'm very happy and proud of the players," Zidane added. "But we have six 'finals' left and one is tomorrow.

"We have to think about trying our best to win. We're good, but this doesn't mean anything."

Add Tottenham to the list of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic admirers.

The Lazio star and Serbia international has teams queuing up for his services, with Paris Saint-Germain reportedly tipped to secure his signature.

However, Premier League outfit Spurs are now eyeing Milinkovic-Savic.

 

TOP STORY – MILINKOVIC-SAVIC WANTED BY SPURS

Jose Mourinho is interested in bringing Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to Tottenham, according to Foot Mercato.

Milinkovic-Savic is a player in demand, having been linked with the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Juventus, Manchester City and Chelsea.

While a move for Milinkovic-Savic appears out of reach for Spurs, Jose Mourinho is still dreaming.

 

ROUND-UP

- While Milinkovic-Savic is a dream for Spurs, The Telegraph says Tottenham are confident of signing Southampton's Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. Mourinho, however, must raise transfer funds through sales from his squad.

Inter are in advanced talks with Brescia to finalise a deal for star Sandro Tonali, according to journalist Nicolo Schira. Inter have agreed a five-year deal with Tonali.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's future at Milan beyond the 2019-20 season is complicated, says Calciomercato. Ibrahimovic is out of contract at the end of the campaign and the 38-year-old striker is no closer to signing an extension. While he would like to remain at San Siro, an extension looks set to be postponed until the proposed arrival of Ralf Rangnick as head coach.

- Sport Bild reports Bayern Munich are hopeful of extending David Alaba's contract, despite failing to come to an agreement at a meeting last week. Alaba has been linked to Chelsea recently. Meanwhile, Sky Sport says Bayern are not prepared to exercise their option to sign Ivan Perisic permanently from Inter following his loan spell.

- ABC says Real Betis have been in negotiations with former West Ham, Real Madrid and Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini about their coaching vacancy.

Milan and Napoli are both interested in Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic, claims Le10 Sport. The Serbian could be a replacement for Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, who has been linked to the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Real Madrid.

- The Daily Mail reports Arsenal are ready to use out-of-favour midfielder Matteo Guendouzi as a bargaining chip in a potential swap deal. United, PSG, Madrid and Barca have emerged as possible destinations.

Juventus director Fabio Paratici said Miralem Pjanic would only leave for Barcelona after the Bosnian midfielder agreed to join the LaLiga champions.

Pjanic will swap Juve for Barca at the end of the 2019-20 season, with Arthur moving in the opposite direction as part of the high-profile swap deal.

Juve star Pjanic was in the starting XI and played 74 minutes of Tuesday's 3-1 Serie A victory over Genoa following the announcement.

Asked about Pjanic prior to Juve's win, Paratici told Sky Sport Italia: "Logically, the transfer market is part planning and part opportunity. In this particular deal, we had both elements.

"Pjanic is a very important player for us, so when the option emerged, we spoke to Miralem and he said he was happy here, so the only club he would've left us for was Barcelona.

"We found this player Arthur, who we had been tracking for a long time, and who is younger than Pjanic."

Juve have also been involved in another swap deal, with 19-year-old Portuguese winger Felix Correia arriving from Manchester City in exchange for 18-year-old Spanish forward Pablo Moreno.

Correia has signed a five-year contract in Turin following his €10.5million (£9.5m) transfer, while Moreno – who left Barcelona for Juve in 2018 – has penned a four-year deal and cost City €10m (£9m).

"Felix is a winger who is strong in taking men on, he's very talented and we'd been following him for a while too," Paratici added. "He was more functional for our U23 team project compared to Moreno."

 

Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone said he is "without words" amid Antoine Griezmann's struggles at Barcelona.

Griezmann was a 90th-minute substitute against former team Atletico, who earned a 2-2 draw away to stuttering Barca in LaLiga on Tuesday.

A €120million signing from Atletico at the start of the season, Griezmann arrived amid much hype but the star forward has struggled at Camp Nou, where he has started on the bench against Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao in recent weeks.

Griezmann has scored eight LaLiga goals this season and 14 across all competitions for second-placed Barca, who could fall four points adrift of bitter rivals Real Madrid on Thursday.

However, Griezmann has not scored since Barca's 1-1 draw against Napoli in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie prior to the coronavirus pandemic in February.

Asked about Griezmann, Simeone told Movistar: "I'm without words."

Diego Costa's 11th-minute own goal had put Barca ahead before Saul Niguez's penalty restored parity for Atletico eight minutes later.

Lionel Messi converted a penalty of his own five minutes into the second half to celebrate his 700th career goal, but another Saul spot-kick – in the 62nd minute – secured a draw for Atletico.

It is the first time Atletico have scored two goals against Barca in LaLiga under Simeone, whose side are third and two points clear of Sevilla with five matches remaining.

"We are respectful of Barcelona ​​with the quality they have," Simeone said.

"The game was played as a result of what we usually do. We started well. Their goal came in an isolated play.

"Then to generate a difficult game against a team that keep the ball well.

"We tried until the end. The work was very good, a very competitive team. I'm happy."

Quique Setien hailed Lionel Messi after the Barcelona superstar scored his 700th career goal on Tuesday.

Messi celebrated the landmark moment as stuttering titleholders Barca drew 2-2 at home to Atletico Madrid in LaLiga.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner's delicate 'Panenka' penalty put Barca ahead in the 50th minute before Saul Niguez's second spot-kick ensured the points were split.

Discussing captain Messi – who has scored 630 goals for Barca and 70 for Argentina – post-match, Barca head coach Setien said: "I suppose that another 700 goals will not be scored by Leo, but he will continue to score.

"You don't know what the ceiling is for a player of this type."

Diego Costa's 11th-minute own goal had put Barca ahead before Saul's penalty restored parity for Atletico eight minutes later.

Messi converted a penalty of his own five minutes into the second half to bring up his landmark goal, but another Saul spot-kick – in the 62nd minute – secured a draw for Atletico.

Barca are one point behind leaders and rivals Real Madrid, who can move four clear with victory over Getafe on Thursday, as pressure mounts on Setien.

Setien's side have only won one of their past four league fixtures but the Barca boss said: "I'm quite happy with them [the team].

"It's true that we haven't been able to win, but at times we controlled the game well.

"It's not easy against this team. They're disciplined. I'm quite happy with my players' work."

Barcelona head coach Quique Setien admitted it is difficult to play Antoine Griezmann without "destabilising" the team as he threw the Frenchman's future into further doubt.

Griezmann was a 90th-minute substitute against former team Atletico Madrid, who earned a 2-2 draw away to defending LaLiga champions Barca on Tuesday.

A €120million signing from Atletico at the start of the season, Griezmann arrived amid much hype but the star forward has struggled at Camp Nou, where he has started on the bench against Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao in recent weeks.

Explaining Griezmann's place on the bench as Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Riqui Puig started in the attacking third, Setien said: "It's difficult to put him on without destabilising the team.

Griezmann has scored eight LaLiga goals this season and 14 across all competitions for second-placed Barca.

However, Griezmann has not scored since Barca's 1-1 draw against Napoli in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie prior to the coronavirus pandemic in February.

"I understand it's tough for Griezmann to come on when so little time left. I will speak with him tomorrow [Wednesday], I won't say sorry because [it's about] decisions.

"But I understand he may feel bad and I feel bad for him because he's a great person and professional."

Messi scored his 700th career goal but stuttering Barca still dropped more points in the title race.

Diego Costa's 11th-minute own goal had put Barca ahead before Saul Niguez's penalty restored parity for Atletico eight minutes later.

Messi converted a penalty of his own five minutes into the second half to celebrate his landmark goal, but another Saul spot-kick – in the 62nd minute – secured a draw for Atletico.

Barca are one point behind leaders Real Madrid, who can move four clear with victory over Getafe on Thursday, as pressure mounts on Setien.

However, under-fire Barca boss Setien said: "I don't feel at all under threat.

"It's a shame. We're having more and more difficulties. Leaving these points behind means we're moving further away from the title. But we have to keep working and Atletico are a good team."

Sergio Busquets conceded Barcelona face an uphill battle to retain their LaLiga crown after a 2-2 draw with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.

Lionel Messi scored his 700th goal but it was not enough for Barca to claim all three points at Camp Nou, where Saul Niguez scored two penalties to earn Atleti a share of the spoils.

The draw leaves Barca one point behind leaders Real Madrid, who could move four clear with a win over Getafe on Thursday.

There are five games remaining for Barca to turn things around, but midfielder Busquets acknowledged their fate may well now be out of their hands.

"Look, to fight for the title is really complicated if you're dropping two points each two games, but we're going to keep fighting until the end," the Spain international told Movistar.

"We know it's difficult but we're going to try. They're a difficult rival. We dominated and created chances but the two penalties, penalised us – it's been a real shame.

"We were leaders and in a perfect situation before the break. I think it's been difficult for us since – some matches we've played better, others we haven't.

"Dropping points today and at the weekend means we're a little bit further away from our goal, which is to retain the title. I think we played better today but it's a difficult task ahead of us."

Diego Costa's own goal from Messi's corner put Barcelona ahead, before Saul hauled Atleti level from 12 yards – his goal coming after Costa had seen his penalty saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen, only for a VAR check to spot the goalkeeper had moved off his line.

Messi chipped home his landmark goal from the penalty spot shortly after half-time, yet Saul kept his composure with his second spot-kick of the match.

Yannick Carrasco won both of Atleti's penalties, and the Belgian – who returned to the club in January following a stint in China – was buoyed by the visitors' resilience.

"We always want to win, but I think the team played well. It's just unfortunate we couldn't get the three points," he said.

"We have to keep working and think about the next game. We were playing against one of the best teams in the world. A point away from home is always positive but we wanted to win.

"It's the attitude which is the most important facet of this team always. After that we can win or lose, but if the attitude is the correct one then the coach is happy. Today wasn't to be but we can be proud of our performance."

Another week, another Lionel Messi milestone.

The Barcelona forward has scored his 700th career goal just a little over two years since reaching 600 for club and country.

It's another remarkable feat for a footballer who continues to break new ground after turning 33.

Here, we look at the details behind the incredible numbers to see when, where and how he tends to find the net, who likes to set him up, and who is sick of the sight of him...

 

FOR BARCELONA:

- Messi has scored 630 goals in 724 appearances for Barca in all competitions - that's 0.87 per game on average. 

- His first goal came on May 1, 2005 against Albacete in LaLiga. Since then, he has reached 441 goals in 480 matches in Spain's top flight, at least 130 more than any other player in history.

- He has scored 114 goals in the Champions League, 53 in the Copa del Rey, 14 in the Supercopa de Espana, three in the UEFA Super Cup, and five in the Club World Cup.

 

FOR ARGENTINA:

- Messi has scored 70 senior international goals. His first came on March 1, 2006 in a friendly against Croatia, and his most recent was in a friendly last November against Uruguay.

- He has scored 34 goals in international friendlies, 21 in World Cup qualifiers, nine at the Copa America, and six at the World Cup.

 

PER YEAR:

- In each of the past 11 calendar years, Messi has scored at least 40 goals for club and country. In nine of the last 10, he has reached at least 50.

- His best record in a single year came in 2012, when he scored 91, breaking the previous record of 85 held by Germany great Gerd Muller. He already has 12 in 2020, despite the COVID-19 disruption.

 

HIS FAVOURITE OPPONENT:

- Messi has scored 37 goals in 39 games against Sevilla in all competitions. Next up are Atletico Madrid (32 in 41 games).

- He has managed 26 in 43 games against Real Madrid, making him the all-time top goalscorer in Clasico history.

- Messi has faced 40 different LaLiga teams and scored at least once against 37 of them. Last November, he became the first player to score against 34 different Champions League opponents, surpassing Cristiano Ronaldo and Raul on 33.

 

HIS LEAST FAVOURITE OPPONENT:

- Only three LaLiga teams have ever avoided conceding a goal to Messi: Xerez, Real Murcia and Cadiz.

- Xerez are the only team Messi has faced more than once without scoring. He has played against them twice.

 

WHEN AND HOW HE SCORES:

- Messi has scored 43.32 per cent of his goals in the last 15 minutes of the first half or last 15 minutes of the second.

- He has scored 142 times from set-pieces: 90 penalties and 52 free-kicks.

- Only 24 of his career goals are headers. The most recent was back in March 2017 against Sporting Gijon. 

- Messi has scored 83.1 per cent of his goals (582) with his left foot, and 82.8 per cent (580) from inside the box.

- He has scored 36 LaLiga hat-tricks, which is a record. He has scored three or more times in 54 different matches, the most being five against Bayer Leverkusen in March 2012.

- His tally of 50 for the 2011-12 LaLiga season is a record.

 

WHO SETS HIM UP:

- Luis Suarez has assisted more Messi goals than any other player: 47 in six seasons with Barcelona. Messi has returned the favour 36 times. (CHECK WHO SETS UP ATHLETIC GOAL)

- The other players with the most assists for Messi are Dani Alves (42), Andres Iniesta (37), Xavi (31), Pedro (25), Neymar (22) and Jordi Alba (20).

- Messi has 247 assists for Barca. Since his first goal for the club, he has been involved in 879 of their 2,183 goals in all competitions, or 40.2 per cent.

Lionel Messi scored the 700th goal of his career but Barcelona were held to a 2-2 draw against Atletico Madrid by a pair of Saul Niguez penalties, damaging their LaLiga title defence.

Barca's all-time leading scorer Messi brought up the milestone at Camp Nou with a brilliant Panenka from the penalty spot as he punished Felipe for sending Nelson Semedo to ground early in the second half.

However, Saul, who first equalised in the opening period after Diego Costa's own goal, powered home from 12 yards for the second time after Semedo caught Yannick Carrasco in the box.

The result provided a boost to Real Madrid, who can open up a four-point advantage at the summit by beating Getafe on Thursday.

Messi appeared to have ended his wait for his landmark goal in the 11th minute, but his corner only beat Jan Oblak due to a deflection off the inside of Costa's leg.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen saved a penalty from Costa after Arturo Vidal tripped Carrasco, only for a VAR review to spot the goalkeeper had strayed off his line. A re-take was ordered and Saul guided the ball into the bottom-right corner.

Messi curled a magnificent attempt from the right corner of the box narrowly wide, before steering a cutback from Jordi Alba outside the left upright and seeing a deflected free-kick turned behind by Oblak before half-time.

Barca regained the lead five minutes after the restart when Messi cheekily chipped home his 700th goal from the penalty spot.

Costa missed the target with a header but Carrasco won another penalty and Saul's spot-kick found the net off the gloves of Ter Stegen.

Vidal was unable to find the target with a pair of decent opportunities as Barca were forced to settle for a draw that will do little to quell the rumours of discontent in the dressing room.

What does it mean? Barca falter again

Quique Setien changed his approach for the visit of Atleti, leaving Antoine Griezmann and Ansu Fati on the bench and playing Riqui Puig behind a front two of Messi and Luis Suarez.

The Blaugrana dominated possession throughout but proved vulnerable on the counter-attack and Setien did not change formation until he introduced Fati in the 85th minute – Griezmann came on five minutes later.

It was too late and Barca have now drawn three of their past four LaLiga fixtures and seen the two-point lead they held when the season was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic evaporate. With five games remaining, Setien needs to turn things around quickly.

Magical Messi not enough

Everything positive for Barca was funnelled through Messi – he had more shots in the first half than the entire Atleti team. After three games without a goal he reached his milestone with class, but Diego Simeone's men were still able to snatch a point.

Costa's miserable outing

After narrowly missing out on connecting with a teasing Carrasco free-kick in the sixth minute, Costa put the ball in the net at the other end. His penalty was poor and he was fortunate VAR offered Atletico a second chance to equalise.

What's next?

Atleti are back in action at home to Real Mallorca on Friday, while Barcelona face a tricky trip to Villarreal on Sunday.

Lionel Messi scored the 700th goal of his remarkable career in Barcelona's LaLiga clash against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.

The Argentina great reached 699 with a penalty against Leganes on June 16 but failed to find the net in subsequent games against Sevilla, Athletic Bilbao and Celta Vigo.

However, he finally ended his wait to reach the landmark with another spot-kick to make it 2-1 over Atletico in Camp Nou, his delicate 'Panenka' effort leaving Jan Oblak no chance.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner is the all-time record scorer for Barcelona and in LaLiga due to a stunning career at Camp Nou, which began with his first-team debut in 2004.

His goals have helped Barca to 10 LaLiga titles, six Copas del Rey and four Champions Leagues, with Messi winning 34 major honours with the Blaugrana.

Silverware has frustratingly eluded Messi on the international stage with Argentina, but his return of 70 goals is the most by any player in the history of his national team.

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