Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has voiced his belief that Atletico Madrid is ready to fight for La Liga while Radamel Falcao is firing in the goals.
The capital outfit is joint-second in the Spanish top flight with the Catalan giants after winning eight of itsfirst nine fixtures to position the club level on points at the summit.
Now, the Spain international has acknowledged Barca's rivals' strong form and expects Atletico to maintain its title challenge for the remainder of the campaign.
"Atletico can win the league," Pique told Intena 3. "Falcao's team are very much in the reckoning."
Pique then reiterated his support for Lionel Messi, who is set to lock horns with Cristiano Ronaldo in the battle to be crowned the recipient of the 2012 Ballon d'Or.
"You get more recognition for the Ballon d'Or as an attacker rather than a defender," he said. "Leo and Cristiano are in contention, but I think Messi will win."
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