Diego Simeone has praised his Atletico Madrid side for ‘an extraordinary year’ as they look to fight on three fronts going into 2014.

The capital club are currently second in the League table, into the last 16 of the Champions League with a game against Milan and are preparing to face Sant Andreu in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.

“Overall, it has been an extraordinary year,” he told a Press conference. “The high point was undoubtedly the Copa del Rey final against Real Madrid.

“The team performed and realised at the same time that we could improve.

“This Copa clash is a nice opportunity for the lads who deserve more minutes than they’ve played.

“The whole squad is responding in a big way. It is a great opportunity to show how much quality we have.

“We are Atleti – we are always motivated for every match. That’s what I hope anyway. Putting myself in the position of a player, I’d see this as an opportunity.

“I don’t like to single out anyone, but Raul Garcia is a great example – someone for everyone to follow.”

The Argentine tactician then commented on the European clash with Milan in February.

“It is a nice game – one of the most important ones we’ll play. They are a great team who have won a lot of European Cups.

“It’ll be played in a great stadium, somewhere that I’m used to!”

Simeone concluded by praising Adrian Lopez, who signed a contract extension on Tuesday.

“We are pleased to continue to have a decisive player, who is at his peak. It shows we have faith in him.”

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