Diego Simeone has suggested that his team will be able to close the gap

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has suggested that his team will be able to close the gap on rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid once the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo retire.

Both players are regarded as the best in the world by a considerable margin. It is not surprising that they have shared the world Player of the Year award in succession for the last few years. After having done the unthinkable by beating both these teams to the la Liga title last season, Simeone has failed to retain the league title this season.

Barcelona managed to reclaim the crown after a 1-0 success over Simeone’s team at the Vicente Calderon. After the match, Simeone admitted that the bar has been set really high by these two clubs, who have been immensely helped by the way television money is distributed in Spain.

Barcelona and Real Madrid have the ability to negotiate the TV deals individually and they get a huge share of it.Atletico are the last team outside the top two to have won the title since Valencia in 2004. Simeone reckons that the club will be able to regularly challenge for the title once the ultimate top players like Messi and Ronaldo retire from the game.

“It’s not easy to play for Atletico. Talent is not enough, the bar is very high. Messi and Ronaldo will not last for 100 years, at some points we’ll get closer. For Altetico to keep wining we can only do one thing – work and fight. The way he is being judged makes me angry because when you win, you win as one,” said Simeone. The gulf in class between the top two and the rest of the league has been shown by the 16 point difference between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.