Simeone: Atleti Spain’s second best

Diego Simeone says Atletico Madrid are ‘the second best team in Spain’, whilst reiterating that Barcelona’s dominance of the League makes it boring.

Los Colchoneros currently sit second in La Liga after 13 rounds of League action, having dropped only five points in their pursuit of leaders Barcelona.

“When I arrived, I said to Miguel Angel Gil Marin that the only thing I wanted to aspire to was to be an annoying team that if anyone played against us, it would hurt,” Simeone has considered this week on COPE.

“The support from this club has been huge, as has been the work that we have been doing. We have a good team that generates a good competition both internally and externally. 

“The fans can see and identify with their Atletico, they have seen that the collective effort can overcome the daily difficulties. Today we are the second best team in Spain.

“Barcelona are the first, everyone else has to improve. Real Madrid are not right and are six points behind Barcelona.”

Simeone began the season by calling the Spanish League a two-team race between Barca and Madrid, labelling it ‘boring’.

“The Spanish League is boring,” the Argentine reiterated this week.

“Yesterday [Sunday] I heard that Betis fans applauded their team at the Villamarin when they were 2-0 down at the break, I do not understand anything.

“Are Barcelona in crisis? A team that has won 12 games and drawn one makes me laugh when they say they are in crisis. When playing bad they still win their games. You tell me if it is not boring. When they economically have more than everyone else, they are better. We are giving the maximum, being competitive, whilst when we are a little less, it costs us.

“Barcelona have a million arguments. You guys want to lead people into thinking that finishing third is a failure. We know what our reality is, focusing on each game we are excited for our future.”

Atleti saw their Brazilian-born striker Diego Costa pull out of a possible debut for Spain this week with a thigh injury.

“It is a pity for all the effort that he has been doing. He is eager to play with the national team. I want to emphasise the generosity of the player – another would go to the national team and expect to play.

“He knows that Atletico has given him everything and he started by thinking about Atleti rather than his national team.”

Tags Diego Costa Simeone