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Atletico Madrid News

Simeone talks Ancelotti, 36th derby, and guard of honour ahead of Real Madrid clash



Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid wrapped up their 35th title win last weekend against Espanyol in style and followed that up with a sensational comeback win in the UEFA Champions League against Manchester City to qualify for the finals.

They are riding on incredible momentum, and will travel to the outskirts of Spanish capital Madrid to lock horns against Atletico Madrid for the 35th round in La Liga.

Ahead of the Madrid derby, Diego Simeone addressed the media as part of his pre-game press conference, specially revealing their plans on the guard of honour.

On the game, and his 36th Madrid derby: “I would like to tell you all the feelings, emotions, and experiences that have happened. So many finals, Champions Leagues, Super Cups, leagues. We are against a rival who is very strong, and we continue to see today the strength they have.”

“It’s always exciting to face a rival like Madrid, more so just after they became champions.”

“The meaning of a derby is to always win.”

On the guard of honour: “These questions try to generate a bit of controversy. What happens, in reality, is that the club made a concrete statement to congratulate Real Madrid, the players, the coaching staff, because they have done a good job.”

“We have respect for Madrid, but more so for our fans.”

On the team’s energy: “We know it it will every hard until the end. We have to face Madrid, Villarreal, Sevilla, Betis.”

On Madrid making changes and what to expect: “No, because the structure is not going to change, the way of playing. Ancelotti is a great coach, with very clear ideas. Whoever plays for them will maintain their plan, the names vary but not the ideas.”

Source: Atletico Madrid Twitter

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Atletico Madrid News

Atletico Madrid midfielder on the derby against Real Madrid: “Very difficult to beat them”



Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

Following a 1-1 draw in their Champions League opener against Lazio, Atletico Madrid will shift all their attention to La Liga, as they brace themselves for the derby against Real Madrid this weekend.

Heading into this game, Atleti midfielder Marcos Llorente spoke about Real Madrid’s quality and Atletico Madrid’s chances of squeezing all three points from this iconic derby.

Llorente on Madrid derby

“The sensations are good. The team is very good, the other day we played a great game despite ending up drawing. I really think that the team did a great job that must be maintained for this match,” Llorente said in an interview with Diario AS.

When asked whether or not Real Madrid being tagged as favourites could aid Atleti, the midfielder said, “Honestly, it neither motivates me nor demotivates me. We simply have to do what we work on during the week, what the coach asks of us.”

Llorente stressed the importance of the game, adding, “It is a great rival we have in front of us, they are having a very good start to the season and that motivates me and everyone to try to play a good game.”

Real Madrid is a great club, they have great players and it is very difficult to beat them. I think we have competed, we have also achieved several draws, but in the end, either you go out one hundred percent and do things very, very well or it is difficult to beat them,” he added.

A former member of the Real Madrid youth academy, Llorente joined Atletico Madrid in 2019. Since then, he has racked up over 150 competitive appearances for Los Colchoneros.

Llorente, though, said he feels no sense of vindication when he performs well against his former team.

“No. In the end, it’s been many years since I left there and I’m at Atlético. Perhaps in the first years, those types of feelings and sensations can arise, but today they no longer do,” he said.

Marcos Llorente confident of Atletico Madrid’s chances ahead of the derby (Photo by FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images)

Llorente on Vinicius, Koke & Bellingham

The Atletico Madrid star went on to talk about other aspects of the game, including the fact that his team had one less player every time they faced Real Madrid last season.

“I have zero worries. These are things that are not in our remit, that escape our hands. We play football, the referees referee and those who have to decide decide,” he said.

Llorente, in fact, said that the return of Koke could be a real boost for Atleti. “It is always good that Koke is with us, both on the field and in the day-to-day life of the game,” he said.

“Beyond the grass. The support he gives, the advice he gives us, his experience. it is always important to have him and it is great news that he is already training with us,” he added.

Talking about the absence of Vinicius Junior and the form of Jude Bellingham, Llorente said, “Well, you have to be careful with everyone. All Real Madrid players are very good and can make a difference at any moment of the game. Bellingham is having a great start and we have to take that into account and be very focused.”

Finally, Marcos Llorente put out a message for all the Atletico Madrid fans, claiming their support ahead of this crucial encounter this weekend.

“It will be a full house as always. We don’t have to tell them anything, they know the importance of this match for Atlético, we know that they never fail, they are always supporting us and we count on them,” he said.

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