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Simeone talks Joao Felix, Oblak, Ancelotti, formations ahead of Real Betis vs Atletico Madrid



Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO CANAS/AFP via Getty Images

Atletico Madrid may have gotten off to a poor start to their league season but their performances in recent weeks have given fans a reason to cheer. Los Rojiblancos have won two of their last three league encounters and currently sit in fourth place with six wins in ten games.

They now face fifth-placed Real Betis at Benito Villamarin on Sunday. Both teams sit level on twenty points with only a better goal difference placing Atletico ahead.

Diego Simeone spoke to the press ahead of his team’s clash and talked about a plethora of topics including the team’s relationship with the fans. Here are the snippets from his media interaction.

On restoring a bond with fans: “We have to be strong again at home, with our people, with the support of our people above all, so that the team recovers that energy that is always transmitted from the outside to the inside.

“But above all, we, from the inside, get people excited, which is what people need to be hooked on the team. That is what I see, above all, what is happening to us at home.”

On Joao Felix’s situation: “Let’s see, several situations. When talking about Joao the focus is on him, if it happened to Correa, Cunha, Morata, or Griezmann, the subject would not be discussed in the same way. But it generates opinion and discussion talk about Joao.” 

On the Portuguese winger’s training: “I’ve already explained what I thought, Joao is training better, with good energy and good feelings, so based on what he’s doing, hopefully when it’s his turn he’ll do it as a result of what he’s now showing in training.”

On the effect of his system on Felix: “Regarding the system, I don’t think it has any influence on Joao, because playing in 4-3-3, it is clear that with Carrasco, he is the one who best knows the position as a left winger, where he likes to play, and if plays 5-3-2 or 4-4-2 is on the inside and has done it a lot of times.”

“I’m glad to see that we share an opinion about Joao’s improvement in training, as you have commented, and hopefully, it will be a consequence if he has to play 20, 60′, 80′ or 101 minutes.”

On injured players: “Let’s hope that all the players are well because we need them all and as soon as they are all well, the team will win.”

On Jan Oblak: “Oblak is going to be called up.”

On Manuel Pellegrini: “Pellegrini’s and mine are two different situations with a similar value. We have transmitted it in Atleti and he has done it in the world. Not only in Europe, but in South America as well. His teams have their brand, their game identity, and he never changes that.”

On Real Betis: “Betis are competitive, more and more and more closer to that goal they have of the Champions League. La Liga is tough, Real, Sevilla, Betis, Osasuna, they are growing, the Champions League places begin to be more and more complicated”.

On Los Verdiblancos’ phenomenal run last season: “Last season marked the path that Betis has shown. In the end, it didn’t manage to reach that goal of the Champions League, but with a great effort in the middle for the Cup. The path to follow is what they are doing. The team plays well, it’s dangerous, with a lot of attacks”.

On Carlo Ancelotti’s recent comments on being called a Cholista: “I understand what Ancelotti said from the question he was asked.

“We are certainly not similar at all, because Madrid manages to win continuously and we make a continuous effort year after year to get closer to Madrid and Barca, who are the best year to year, and we try to do it with our spirit, our weapons, we seek to do what brings us closer to competing against them.”

Source: Atletico Madrid YouTube

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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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