Koke pleased with Atletico display against Barcelona, Messi
Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke praised his side for their performance and ability to contain Lionel Messi in a 1-1 draw against Barcelona.
Saul Niguez's first-half goal was cancelled out by Luis Suarez at the Wanda Metropolitano as Atletico ended Barca's perfect start to the LaLiga season on Saturday.
After helping Diego Simeone's men keep Messi below his usual match-winning best, Koke said it was a team effort.
"We already know Messi, who has so much quality that he can score a goal at any time," he said.
"We have done everything possible to stop him... it's hard to stop a player like that but I think it's done by everyone."
The result saw Atletico remain unbeaten in the league this season, sitting third and six points behind Barca.
Koke said his team was still pushing to match Ernesto Valverde's side, as well as city rivals Real.
"There are Madrid and Barcelona and then there is us," he said.
"We are fighting with them. I don't know if we will be at their level. We know that we have to work hard to be up there with them."