Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has defended his squad selection for tomorrow's Europa League opener against Hapoel Tel Aviv.
The tournament holders have arrived in Israel without star man Falcao and first team regulars Filipe Luis, Arda Turan, Gabi and Diego Godin, but Simeone gave short shrift to the suggestion his side will be weakened in the Group B opener.
“Cata Diaz is a top player, Emre is captain of Turkey, Raul Garcia scored 12 goals with Osasuna last season, Diego Costa 12 with Rayo Vallecano,” the Argentine is quoted as saying by AS.
“We have a very competitive team.”
Simeone was unconcerned when told some in Tel Aviv were concerned the absences would detract from the game as a spectacle.
“We have not come to put on a show. We came to win.”
The former Catania Coach does admire the Israeli style of play however.
“I like how all Israeli sides play. They are very dynamic and move the ball well.
“Everyone knows I do not like to give up on anything, so I want to be competitive in every tournament we play. It's a good challenge for the team.”