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Atletico Madrid News

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



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

Atletico Madrid competing with Barcelona, Liverpool for 26-year-old midfielder



Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

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.

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