​Barcelona icon, Lionel Messi has revealed that the Catalan squad were very interested in seeing how ​Liverpool performed against ​Atletico Madrid in the Champions League first-leg round of 16 clash on Tuesday, claiming that "they had talked about it in the locker room after the draw was made."

Atletico got the better of the Reds on the night, eeking out a 1-0 win and now will travel to Anfield with a slight advantage and Messi who was on the pitch when Liverpool beat them in dramatic circumstances last season, was keen to see how the clash went.

“On the day of the draw we talked in the locker room that would be very close because Atletico competes a lot in this competition. In two-match duels they are very strong and he showed it again, that they will compete and they will be there," he said to ​Mundo Deportivo.

Their Spanish rivals, Atletico have not had the best of times this season after a number of stalwarts departed in the summer, while the new arrivals seem to be struggling to adjust to life in Spain.

Messi for his part hailed the achievements of fellow countryman, Diego Simeone - revealing that he has done a spectacular job at the club as seen by the success they have enjoyed under him.

“I think he did a spectacular job. Year after year the team is being renewed, players come and go and continue to perform with a long-standing idea that players are convinced of what they do. That is why it yields and it has a lot of merit to be so many years and always competing," he concluded.