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Simeone laments over 2016 Champions League final loss to Real Madrid: “It’s a failure”

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Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

The special connection between Diego Simeone and Atletico Madrid is something seldom spoken about. The Argentine manager single-handedly pulled Los Colchoneros out of the water upon his arrival and constructed a champion team capable of competing on all fronts.

This season, his side have not gotten off to the best of starts. Los Rojiblancos have dropped points in two of their first four games and currently sit seventh on the league standings.

Earlier this week, Simeone spoke to ESPN Futbol Argentina where he gave his thoughts on his tenure at the club so far and the current season. Here are the snippets from his interview.

The 2016 Champions League final will go down as one of the worst moments in Simeone’s professional career. His men had the UCL title in their hands but painfully let it slip away in the penalty shootout against arch-rivals Real Madrid. The manager said that he still considered it a failure on his part.

“I knew we could win that Champions League, and I didn’t win it. So for me, it’s a failure. I was convinced that we could win it, I swear.”

Atletico Madrid and Argentina midfielder Rodrigo de Paul faced severe criticism at the end of last season for his sub-par performance in his first year at the club. However, Simeone outright denied the sentiment and spoke about the midfielder’s role in the team.

“He plays much better than I played. He looks better than what I saw. He is a boy who has a special place. He has football leadership. Here at Atlético, we need him, we invite him to compete.”

The Argentine’s father, Carlos Simeone, passed away earlier this year. Cholo spoke about his special bond with his father and added that he missed him.

“I miss my father, how would I not? He passed away not too long ago and I’m sure that he’s watching us from wherever he is. I’m neither more nor less like any kid who losses his dad. I miss him a lot.”

A lot has been made over Atletico’s nom colourful methodology of winning games by low margins. Some have gone to the extreme of calling it anti-football. Yet, Simeone defended his philosophy when asked by the Argentine outlet.

“I ask all those who are creative, spectacular, and extraordinary, it’s the end of the world and you are offered to win 1-0 but while playing badly, do you take it or not?

“Because I have had teammates who were quality, really good on the ball, and one day they would tell me ‘Look, we have to win today’ [and I would think] ‘Ahh today? Just today? Not other days?’ (Laughs).”

Atletico Madrid will face off against FC Porto in their first game of the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night.

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Atletico Madrid News

Ancelotti talks Courtois, Militao, Bellingham, VAR controversies ahead of Las Palmas vs Real Madrid

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

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

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