Oblak on Messi & Ronaldo, Atletico Madrid’s La Liga title hopes & his future

The Slovenia international goalkeeper remains a big fan of two modern-day greats and is looking to get his hands on more major silverware

Jan Oblak has been discussing the brilliance of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo while also assessing Atletico Madrid’s title hopes and looking ahead to what the future may hold for him.

The Slovenian goalkeeper has, across seven years in Spanish football, lined up against some of the very best in the business during outings on domestic, continental and international stages.

Two all-time greats with 11 Ballon d’Or wins between them sit at the very top of that talent list, with the 28-year-old shot-stopper often finding himself standing between record-setting forwards and their efforts to find the back of the net.

What has been said?

Asked by Goal who would be in his dream five-a-side team, Oblak said: “It is a difficult question, yes, but with Messi I have always said it. He is spectacular. He is at the highest level. For me he is the best. 

“Another one that I would choose would be Cristiano, who has marked an era with Messi in the history of football. You have to admire everything they have done.

“It’s difficult to say more, but if I’m a goalkeeper on that team I’d like to have five defenders. So, I would choose those who have been on my team – Savic, Gimenez, Godín, Felipe.

“I could name several for you. It’s a bit unfair to talk about names, they are all at a high level.”

Can Atletico’s stars deliver more silverware?

Those currently at Diego Simeone’s disposal stand on the brink of another stunning title triumph this season, with Clasico rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona left trailing in the Rojiblancos’ wake.

There is one more game left to take in, with capital neighbours battling it out for the crown, and Oblak admits it comes as no surprise to find that Atleti are doing things the hard way – with a two-point lead held at the summit heading into a meeting with relegation-threatened Real Valladolid on Saturday.

“Throughout the history of the club there has always been suffering,” he added.

“Since I have learned about the club, that has always been the case, no title has been won easily. One person told me that of the 10 titles Atleti have won, only one was won before the last day. 

“Each title that is at stake with Atleti is sweated on until the end and here it will not be any different. 

“You have to know how to suffer. I’ve been here for seven years and this is what makes football beautiful in the end, that’s why football is so interesting. You never know what will happen.”

He went on to say: “I don’t think about winning the league now. All I want is to prepare myself as best as possible for Saturday, like the whole team. 

“We want to win. It’s a final for them and for us. It’s going to be a difficult game and I don’t even want to think about anything else. Just prepare for the game and play it as well as possible. Then we will see if it is time to celebrate or to be sad.”

The bigger picture

Whatever happens this weekend, Oblak is happy at Atletico and tied to a contract through to the summer of 2023.

He is, however, prepared to admit that anything could happen in the future, with challenges outside of Spain – potentially in the Premier League – holding obvious appeal.

Oblak said of his career path from this point: “It is difficult to know what can happen in the future. You have a contract.

“The Premier League is an interesting league and I don’t know what will happen in the future. I like it, I am a person who likes new challenges, but as I said I have been at Atleti for seven years, a long time has passed, I am happy and I don’t know what will happen in the future. 

“If you asked me seven years ago if I would be at Atleti, I can only say that I am happy because this year we are fighting for the title and that is what I want. That my team is competitive enough to fight for titles.”


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