The Argentine attacker might not have another 700 goals in him, but his manager believes there’s still plenty more to come

Quique Setien praised 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 La Liga.

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.

“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.”

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Antoine Griezmann was only brought on as an injury-time substitute on Tuesday with Setien admitting the French attacker has the potential to ‘destabilise’ his side. 

“I understand it’s tough for Griezmann to come on when so little time left. I will speak with him tomorrow, I won’t say sorry because [it’s about] decisions,” Setien said.

“But I understand he may feel bad and I feel bad for him because he’s a great person and professional.”



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