Simeone: Mission accomplished

Diego Simeone praised his Atletico Madrid players for their win against Celta Vigo that secured automatic qualification to the Champions League.

Atleti will go straight into the group stages of UEFA’s club competition next season having now made certain of third spot in La Liga, thanks to their 3-1 win at Balaidos on Wednesday night.

“It was one of the objectives. I want to highlight the work of all the people working at Atletico Madrid,” began Simeone post-match.

“We have looked to the Champions League from since we arrived back in December [2011], and in the first six months we were close but it could not be.

“We won the Europa League and the Super Cup and that’s down to the work at all levels of the club. The players, I’ll say again are amazing.

“Behind this team there are many people who are not seen, the therapists, the doctor, the leaders, everyone who works daily at the club and is an important part working for Atletico Madrid and I thank you all for contributing to this.”

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois set a new club record for minutes played in La Liga away from home without conceding.

“We have an outstanding goalkeeper. He always gives confidence and I think he has a lot more to give and hopefully he can do with us.”

Next up for Simeone is Barcelona, who may need a win to secure the League title.

“We cannot get away from the next game because we've never approached things differently, we need to look at Barcelona.

“We know it will be a difficult game on Sunday, but the fans can get together and celebrate making it to the Champions League.”

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