Real Madrid have stockpiled the best young talent from across Spain, according to Atletico coach Diego Simeone.
Ahead of their derby clash Saturday, Madrid and Atletico are level on 23 points in La Liga – sitting eight behind leaders Barcelona.
But Simeone paid tribute to his team’s rivals, saying they were the world’s best – and had all the talent to show for it.
“We are going up against the team that is the best in the world, just as Barcelona were in their day,” he told a news conference.
“They’ve won two Champions Leagues in a row and won La Liga last year.
“Right now, they’re better and they have taken all of the good kids from all of the different Spanish teams.
“They keep making sure the others can’t get to these kids. They have them stockpiled, but they have them.”
While he praised Madrid, Simeone believes his team – who are unbeaten in the league – can challenge Zinedine Zidane’s men.
“Since I arrived at the club, all of the derbies have been similar, so I don’t expect it to be different to the previous ones,” he said.