Atletico Madrid News
Simeone reacts after Atletico Madrid crash out of Europe: “We have to accept it”
In what came as a shocking result, Atletico Madrid finished at the bottom of Group B in the UEFA Champions League and thus failed to qualify even for the Europa League. Los Rojiblancos fell to a 2-1 defeat against Porto in Portugal yesterday which came as the final nail in their coffin.
Mehdi Taremi and Stephen Eustaquio scored in the opening half-hour to put the hosts 2-0 up in the first half. Atletico Madrid pulled one back through an Ivan Marcano own goal in the final minute but it was too late for them to push for an equaliser.
Diego Simeone spoke to the press after his team’s defeat and talked about several topics including the situation his team were in. Here are the snippets from his post-match press conference.
On his view on the team situation in retrospect: “We must react with work and calmly look at the situations in Europe that caused us to concede in every game, especially away from home and that we have not been able to score. We must work well in the competitions we remain in, La Liga and Cup”.
On the saving grace other than Oblak: “Barrios. I liked the boy. He continues to evolve. I told him after the game that it is a time to learn and to listen and grow because he has very good conditions. Already in Cádiz, he did very well, today he repeated it. There is good potential in him.”
On being asked to comment on the result: “There are a lot of situations that we can comment on, but the important thing is what you see and what you see is clearly not good.”
On the opponents: “They were more intense, faster, they had more speed and were better for the second ball, they were superior. They beat us well, we deservedly finished last in the group and we are learning.”
On the road ahead: “Europe is behind, La Liga is coming and on Sunday we hope to recover our strength to play a good game and continue well in the league as we are at the moment.”
On conceding early repeatedly: “Difficult to explain why they score against us so many times at the start of the games. We will try to find the reasons why the team does not respond in this way at the beginning.”
On Atletico’s struggles in the UCL: “When we got to the round of 16, we were braver. It’s costing us. We have to accept it and see how we can improve in Europe. We’ve conceded goals in almost every game. We scored little and almost all the teams were superior. We finished where we deserved.”
On the upcoming games: “We must accept the reality. From now on another stage begins tomorrow. La Liga, the Cup, we must become strong by being together to get out of this difficult moment. And we are going to move forward, I have no doubt.”
On failing to qualify for the Europa League: “We are screwed for failing to reach the Europa League. We wanted to continue participating in Europe. It is now left behind, it can no longer be recovered. We still have the League, the Cup and we will look forward with what we have.”
On whether the club had hit rock bottom: “I don’t like the expression of hitting rock bottom. You can always be worse. Knowing how we are is the only way I know to get out of these situations. Being together, being clear about what we want, everyone getting involved. Everyone. The club, the people, us. That’s the best way to deal with this.”
On the importance of mental resilience in football: “The mental aspect comes before everything. You can have talent, play well, and be very well physically but if emotionally you are not calm, with confidence, it limits you.
“The penalty with Leverkusen, 27 seconds into the game against Cadiz (conceding). We’re 2-2 with seven minutes to go with two important chances and on the counterattack, in the 98th minute they make it 3-2. We start today and it happens to us again, after five minutes. There are many tests to overcome now. Let’s see if the group can overcome it.”
Atletico Madrid News
Atletico Madrid competing with Barcelona, Liverpool for 26-year-old midfielder
Sofyan Amrabat is a player in demand, with the midfielder reportedly a top target for various clubs during the January transfer window, as confirmed by his brother.
However, Atletico Madrid are also keeping tabs on the Moroccan international, with the club said to be interested in bringing him to Wanda Metropolitano.
According to Foot Mercato, Amrabat is keen on moving to La Liga, and Atletico Madrid are one of the clubs that he admires. The midfielder had previously praised Atleti boss Diego Simeone, further fueling speculation of a potential move to the Spanish capital.
Atletico Madrid’s interest in Amrabat comes in the midst of uncertainty over the future of Axel Witsel.
The Fiorentina star could be a possible replacement for the Belgian midfielder, whose contract at the club expires at the end of the season, with his father hinting at a possible exit.
However, Atleti would face competition from Barcelona in the pursuit of Amrabat, who appears to be prioritising a move to Camp Nou. The Moroccan international could potentially become an excellent alternative for Barça’s top target, Martin Zubimendi.
However, Fiorentina is unlikely to let the midfielder go cheaply, and Barcelona would have to sort out their economic situation to afford him.
That is where Atletico Madrid might look to get ahead of the Catalans. Although the Spanish giants are also struggling with finances, they may still be able to swoop in and secure the services of the Fiorentina star come the end of the season.
It is too early to deduce anything just yet. A lot will be uncovered as we enter the final phase of the season. Amrabat himself will be keen on making a definitive decision on his future, as he looks to take the next step in his career.