The Slovenia international, who joined Diego Simeone’s squad from Benfica in 2014. He has established himself as one of the best keepers in the game in recent years and remains a lynchpin performer for Atletico Madrid.

Lionel Messi hailed Jan Oblak as ‘one of the best keepers in the world’

Lionel Messi praised Atletico Madrid’s goalkeeper Jan Oblak. He hailed him as “one of the best goalkeepers in the world,” while acknowledging that he is undergoing a challenge to try his best. The Slovenia international, who joined Diego Simeone’s squad from Benfica in 2014, has established himself as one of the best keepers in the game in recent years and remains a lynchpin performer for Atletico Madrid. Earlier this year, he became the goalkeeper who achieved the 100th clean sheets in LaLiga with the least numbers of games. He beat Miguel Reina’s previous record of 222 by a whopping 40 marches. He has picked up where he previously left off this term, having kept out goals in nine of his 13 best games this season to establish Atletico Madrid as genuine title contenders against rivals and current holders Real Madrid.

It’s nice to face one another

He has conceded the fewest goals in the league – just five – while only three goalkeepers made more than his 39 saves. That keeps him at 88.1 per cent, comfortably beating Yassine Bounou in second place. The Sevilla keeper saving just shy of 80 per cent of the shots he has faced. Oblak made four saves when Atleti edged past Barça 1-0 last month. With Messi struggling to find a way through on that occasion. And the Slovenian’s form earned praise from the Argentine, who offered unequivocal praise for him as an opponent to best. “It’s nice to face one another,” the 33-year-old told reporters. “He’s one of the best goalkeepers in the world right now. And it’s always good to fight against the best ones.”

“It is an extra motivation to be able to or to try to, score a goal, with what it means and how hard it is, as he proves in every game that he plays. So it’s nice to see him in the games. It makes them more exciting”. Barça are next in action against Eibar on Tuesday, while Simeone’s side host Getafe a day later.