Gimenez primed for Messi Camp Nou duel

Jose Maria Gimenez knows he will face the best player in the world in Lionel Messi when Atletico travel to Barcelona with the title on the line.

Gimenez primed for Messi duel in Barca v Atleti

Atletico Madrid defender Jose Gimenez knows a cool head will be required when he comes face-to-face with Lionel Messi on Sunday.

Barcelona host Atleti at Camp Nou, with Diego Simeone's side having trimmed their once imposing advantage at LaLiga's summit to five points.

Atletico Madrid's Uruguayan defender Jose Gimenez

The Rojiblancos' title challenge has been built upon the foundations of a rock solid defence.

Gimenez's alliance with skipper and fellow Uruguay international Diego Godin at centre-back is formidable and Atleti have only been breached 11 times in 26 top-flight matches.

Nevertheless, the 23-year-old knows Messi presents a challenge like no other.

"There are some players who prefer to wait with him and others go all or nothing," he explained in an interview with AS journalist Patricia Cazon.

"I think that with Messi we have to take a break, because you can have the last-minute dribble where he takes everyone out. "I think that to face him you need that time to pause because you know that you can be dribbled past at any time. We all know who is the best player in the world.

Jose Gimenez of Atletico Madrid

"As much as you study or play 35 times against him, you know what he is going to do and the result is the same. That makes him not only different; it makes him the best. "He is class A. With him you know you have to wait for the unexpected."