César Luis Menotti spoke on the programme 'Al Primer Toque', on Spanish radio station Onda Cero, and discussed the current state of football in Spain, particularly at Barcelona, and fellow Argentine Leo Messi.
“It was obvious that Messi wasn’t focused, out of the game, and obviously that means more mental fatigue than physical. Every time he steps on the pitch his gives it all he has. He can get the ball four times and score three goals, but from there whether he helps the team play, I’m not sure. He needs the rest of the team to be able to get the ball,” he added. “Messi is not saving himself for the World Cup. That’s like saying Paco de Lucía plays worse at home than on stage.”
Martino: “I don’t think Martino is going to give up on Barcelona; if he leaves I don’t think it will be because of the pressure. It’s hard for coaches to convince themselves that if they have a work of art, they need to conserve it. Every trainer wants to change something; if you have a La Giocconda you have to be careful it doesn’t get dirty, or fall, or deteriorate... but then if you want to put a bikini or mustache on it... you have to get used to maintaining things when they’re are well made.
Neymar: “He’s young, he has incredible qualities, but he has to learn how to play because he still doesn’t know how to play the game well. He’s going to have to keep adapting, strengthening... because I see him physically lacking; maybe it’s because of his state of mind.”
El Cholo and Atlético: “He’s been able to convince the players. Personally, I don’t like the way Atlético play, but I have to admit that he has been able to transform them with a will to fight and compete. You also have to see that in adversity, but obviously everything he has done at Atlético Madrid deserves a lot of merit.”
Mourinho: "Mourinho tried everything against Barça; it was fun for the culés”
El Clásico: “The Clásico is something he couldn’t sort out. I think the 5-0 in the first game conditioned his career at Madrid. He never knew how to respond to it himself. Sometimes it was amazing to see the bench and the players that were sat there.”
Ancelotti: “Ancelotti is a calmer character, maybe without any sparkle, but some players are better positioned. You get the feeling there is more peace at Real Madrid. Before there was more urgency and Ancelotti has turned them into a more ordinary side.”