Diego Simeone is a legend at Atletico Madrid, after having achieved great success with the club as the manager. However, his position has started to come under scrutiny of late due to the team underperforming this season.
Indeed, Atletico already look well off behind rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona in the La Liga title race. On top of that, their recent 2-2 draw against Bayer Leverkusen meant that they crashed out of the UEFA Champions League at the group stage.
With third place in Group B still up for grabs, they are not yet certain of a place in the Europa League either. All this has led to questions over whether Simeone’s time at the Civitas Metropolitano is coming to an end.
The Argentine tactician was posed the same question in the pre-match press conference ahead of Atletico Madrid’s La Liga encounter against Cadiz.
In response, Simeone said (h/t MARCA): “I don’t think about anything other than what lies ahead. ‘I don’t care what they think of me,’ said a great Spanish writer, I think the same. This doesn’t end today.”
The Atletico Madrid manager was also quizzed about the clip of Joao Felix partying after the team’s elimination from the Champions League this week, to which he replied:
“Nothing to say about his private life, if I have something to say I would say it to him. I’m not talking about anyone, they are internal things. We have to keep working, we have a group of five very good offensive players, and all five have the chance to play.”
The elimination from the Champions League means that Atletico will miss out on around €15-20 million, which could force them into player sales in January or the summer.
On the prospect of having to offload stars to achieve economic balance, Simeone said: “We have reinvented ourselves many times, no one is untouchable. I remember that when the 2014 League ended, a lot left, when the greats left, the team reinvented itself and there is no one untouchable.”
Ancelotti talks Courtois, Militao, Bellingham, VAR controversies ahead of Las Palmas vs Real Madrid
Coming off a highly controversial game against Almeria, Real Madrid will now travel to Gran Canaria to take on Las Palmas tomorrow as part of the early kick-off.
Carlo Ancelotti spoke about the clash tomorrow, starting off by confirming his goalkeeper for tomorrow, “Lunin will start tomorrow.”
He also added that Madrid were looking to get back to their usual level after back-to-back poor performances, one of which included elimination against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey round of 16.
“We are motivated to return to our best level after 2 bad games.”
The Italian gaffer also commented on the biggest football story in the world today, which was Jurgen Klopp announcing his decision to leave Liverpool at the end of the season.
“It’s quite surprising, I understand. Working for a long time with the same club and players lowers your motivation a bit. He’s doing a fantastic job at Liverpool.”
And of course, Ancelotti also spoke about the leaked VAR audiovisual, some of which are highly controversial for all parties involved. Barcelona coach and players have also commented on the same, in light of the Negreira case.
“They have talked a lot. Everyone knows what has happened in the last 20 years in Spanish football. The Civil Guard is carrying out an investigations. That is the real problem of Spanish football.”
Luckily for the manager and fans, all injured players — minus the ACL trio of David Alaba, Eder Militao, and Thibaut Courtois — are available. Jude Bellingham is suspended, however.
“Everyone is available now after the recent period of injuries.”
“Making up for Bellingham’s absence tomorrow? Brahim and Joselu are available options. They were able to show themselves after I relied on them as substitutes,” he added.
And as far as Militao and Courtois are concerned, both of whom tore their ACL early in the season, Ancelotti suggested that they could make their return before the season ends.
“Courtois and Militão both have the option to play this season. The recovery process is going very well, they are training on an individual level. It is February and these types of injuries last 6-8 months, so I think they will recover before the end of the season.”
Source: Mundo Deportivo