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Atletico Madrid News

Simeone talks Messi, Barrios, Joao Felix, Koke, Dembele ahead of Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona

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Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

La Liga leaders Barcelona travel to Madrid to take on Diego Simeone’s Atletico on Sunday night in a late kickoff. The game will be a tight and nervy affair, as is always the case between the Spanish giants.

Atletico Madrid did not enjoy the best of starts to the 2022/23 campaign. Their early exit from the UEFA Champions League followed by their slow domestic start led to questions over Simeone’s continuity creeping in.

Since the restart of club football, however, the Rojiblancos have won three out of three games across all competitions and head into Sunday’s game with momentum on their side. Diego Simeone spoke to the press ahead of his team’s clash against Barcelona.

Madrid Universal brings you the snippets of the Argentine tactician’s pre-match press conference.

On whether he would talk with Pablo Barrios before the game: “The personality and tranquility of each one is based on the confidence that one has in oneself as a player, so there will be no talk with Pablo if it is his turn to start.”

On who would start in midfield: “We still haven’t resolved who is going to play there in the middle. Lemar, Koke are working very well, especially Pablo and Kondogbia. Football is a game that asks you to do what you normally see in training or in matches, whether you are 20 or 35 years old.”

On a win over Barcelona being a possible turning point: “All the games that I have had to coach Atlético in are an opportunity. To be good with each other, with our people and in what we have to play. Since I arrived at the club, I have always felt the illusion that each game is an important moment for all.”

On the importance of every game in the league: “We approach all the games and we want to see them as if they were a final. The next game in Almería will be the same way and so on and you also broadcast it in the same way. There is no bigger game than the one you have to play.”

On their opponents for the night: “Barcelona are doing very well in the league, they are the team with the most World Cup caps, they have a coach with clear ideas and they play very well.”

On the importance of winning: “Negative results bring negative energy and positive ones make the team feel more secure. Tomorrow we will try to continue in this way and try to take the game to where we can do damage.”

On whether Lionel Messi’s absence would make it easier: “Where Messi is will always be decisive, be it in the national team, in his current team or Barcelona. With a player of Leo’s characteristics, there is a chance to win.”

On the perks of having world-class players in the team: “When I played the World Cup with Maradona, already a veteran, there was a feeling that it’s difficult for us to lose, because we have the best. And if you have the best, it’s easier to win.”

On whether it was a special chance for Joao Felix: “It’s a good opportunity for the team, to continue growing, improving as a team and capturing what we want in the game. We hope to take the game to where we want to take it and we need it against a team like Barcelona.”

On whether Atletico Madrid were better now than his first clash with Barcelona: “Difficult, it’s very difficult to answer. It’s a good question. Anything I answer will be used against me. They are different teams, it’s very difficult to compare.”

On the last clash between the two teams: “They did very well last time, we started winning, but with the wingers wide open they hurt us a lot on the outside. With Raphinha, Dembélé, Ansu Fati, Memphis, Ferran… anyone in a one-on-one is a very dangerous player.”

Source: Atletico Madrid Twitter

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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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