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The Rojiblancos supremo has paid tribute to the Spain striker and coach Diego Simeone, but claims every player in the world is playing catch up to Lionel Messi.

Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo says he is not surprised that "everyone" is interested in signing Diego Costa.

The 25-year-old has been in sensational form this season, firing 25 goals in 29 La Liga appearances to fire the Rojiblancos top of the table with eight matches remaining.

Chelsea has taken initial steps towards signing the Brazilian-born striker this summer, while Real Madrid has also been rumored to be monitoring the forward, and Cerezo admits any side would be happy to have him.

"He's been with us for many years. He's been with many other sides in Spain [on loan], and everywhere he's been, they've spoken well of him," he told Marca. "And that means one thing: that a player is valuable. So everyone wants him.

"He will be one of the top scorers this season and will shine with Spain in Brazil, I'm certain. He has quality and he deserves this, he's worked hard to get there."

Cerezo believes Lionel Messi remains a cut above the rest in world football, however, and claims the criticism of Barcelona this season is senseless given the fact the club could still win the treble.

"Barca have a squad of outstanding players, starting with the best in the world for me, Leo Messi. He is above the rest, and everyone else has to follow," he said. "They are a great team and each season come out fighting for three titles. People say they are so bad and yet they can still win the Champions League, the Copa and La Liga."

Cerezo, who took the reins as Atletico president in 2002, went on to praise to work of coach Diego Simeone, who has transformed the club into a Liga title contender and a force to be reckoned with in the Champions League.

"He is a great person and professional from head to toe. He is a football man, he lives it 24 hours a day and, above all, he enjoys it, he is passionate about what he does," Cerezo added. "Cholo has found a team with fantastic hopes, tremendous quality. And all the changes he has made have made the team better."

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