Diego Simeone has stressed the value of tonight’s Copa del Rey semi-final against Sevilla, reflecting that it will be ‘an intense game’.

Atletico play host in the first leg on Thursday looking to reach a first domestic Cup final since the 2009-10 edition, which they lost to this week’s opponents.

“It’s an important game. You don’t play in a semi-final every day. Again we have that possibility,” declared El Cholo to reporters in his pre-match Press conference.

“We shall be playing it in the best way possible, so as to continue our dynamic. Hopefully the fans will be behind us, because it is something where we need to be together.

“Falcao? He is working well. He is settled in training. There is still no confirmation on whether he will train with the group, but that does not change what we are looking for.

“Leaving aside that he is a major player, Falcao is like Cristiano or Messi are for Madrid and Barca, he is determined. We expect him to be here. Quality players are well when they want to be, not before.”

In his playing days, Simeone spent two seasons at Sevilla, before his switch to Atletico Madrid.

“The people, the city for how I was received, the colour, the ambition. I have great memories of my two seasons there. I am a professional and will try to do my best wherever I am.

“Under Emery? The name has changed little, if perhaps tactically. They have good wingers and the initial matches under Emery have seen them be more aggressive. I appreciate Emery.

“It is going to be an intense game, we seek to follow the same line of form. We are not thinking of the return leg. We are focused on now and focused on trying to win this game.”

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