09/14/2021 at 2:49 PM CEST
This season with the most powerful squad since he arrived at Atlético de Madrid almost a decade ago, Diego Simeone, the coach of the rojiblanco team, warned that he has “absolutely no commitment to anyone”, while warning of the “pressure and aggressiveness” of his “friend’s” Porto Sergio Conceiçao, his rival this Wednesday in the Champions League.
“I have not varied much in my forms. I have always taken time to think. With the template that we have, I always handle myself in the same way,” said the coach, asked if he spends much more time choosing his eleven now when you have a much wider variety and quality of resources available than in the past.
“I was judged from the first day I arrived … why not judge me now? Criticism and opinion have to be there. I have absolutely no commitment to anyone,” remarked Simeone, who expressed the priority, that “the club and the team win”, during the press conference at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium.
There Atlético restarts the Champions League, with all the sensations it awakens in a group that has played -and lost- two finals, in 2014 and 2016. It has not passed the quarterfinals since 2017. “I don’t think beyond tomorrow’s game The road is walking. We know the competition and we know the difficulties that will be due to the great balance of the group where we are going to compete, “he said.
“I focus more than anything on the competition, which is very tough, very strong and where any mistake is paid,” he said. Simeone, whose team competes to advance to the round of 16 with Milan, Liverpool and Porto, with whom the tournament begins this Wednesday.
“Let’s face a friend, to Conceiçao, the coach, who has been doing very well for years at Porto, that we have coincided in very good years at Lazio with teammates (1999-2000 and 2000-01). He’s giving the team a game and personality in all the years he’s been in charge. I do not expect anything other than what I have seen: intensity, a lot of aggressiveness, a lot of pressure in the rival field, a lot of speed in his game … “, the Argentine coach reviewed.
“I was sure that he would (he would be a coach). Sergio I did not expect it so much. He always had a very vertical football, very dynamic, very hard-headed … It’s his strength and energy. I like everything it transmits. A coach with energy, security and who has been doing some magnificent years at the helm of his team, “he recalled.
The alignment of Simeone is anyone’s guess, even in the ownership of Antoine Griezmann. “Beyond mismatches (against Espanyol) there was imprecision, lack of intensity, aggressiveness, low speed in the game and not only in a footballer, but in the team as a whole. The first half was not what we were looking for,” he said .
“What we want from Griezmann is that he is the footballer that he always was; a very important player, with hierarchy, with talent and with a goal. And, surely, it will be necessary to work it like all the companions in its place of play and that it is prepared for 30, 90 or 60 minutes. Whatever the team calls it, “he explained.