Atletico Madrid's Pablo Barrios has the tools to become a 'great footballer' says Diego Simeone

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The Argentine coach lauded the teenager after Atletico's 2-0 victory in their first La Liga match since the 2022 World Cup.

The Colchoneros ended their three-match winless run in the league as goals from Joao Felix and Alvaro Morata sealed the much-needed victory. Atleti have now jumped up to third in the standings and have picked up fresh momentum ahead of next week's visit of Barcelona. The result was not the only thing which pleased manager Simeone. In fact, the Argentine spent a large portion of his press conference gushing over the performance of his new teenage sensation. Barrios, who is 19-year-old, made his first La Liga start against Elche and was the standout performer in just his fourth senior outing.

Speaking after the match, Simeone said (as quoted by Mundo Deportivo): "When you see a boy who plays ball without fear of playing, with sacrifice, wanting to play forward... the boy is in very good condition".

"Hopefully we can mature it. Surely you will have situations on the way to improve. He is a boy who is humble, listens, he wants to learn. He has those characteristics that make you a great footballer." He added: "When a boy plays the way Pablo plays, you have to accompany him, lead him in the best way so as not to rush him. "He has a very important present. Football doesn't have age, but it has players who have the personality to play, and that's what counts." Barrios is a Spain U19 international and spent time in Real Madrid's academy before switching to the crosstown rivals in 2017. The player put pen to paper on a three-year-deal last March, keeping him at the Estadio Metropolitano until 2025.

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