Simeone: Atleti are big-game players

Atletico Madrid Coach Diego Simeone praised his players’ capacity to rise to a challenge after the 2-0 Copa del Rey win over Valencia.

The title contenders went through to the quarter-finals 3-1 on aggregate after goals from Diego Godin and Raul Garcia dispatched Los Che.

“I have a team of men who know how to get out of difficult situations against their big rivals,” Simeone told a post-match Press conference.

“I say a huge thank you to all my players. There is no one that does not work.

“This game came after a huge one, against Barcelona, and many of you doubted how they would perform and they were perfect.

“Without ambition and without wanting these challenges, you cannot handle football.

“You can play better or worse but this Atleti responds in the important moments.”

Valencia enjoyed long spells of possession but were unable to make much of them, and Simeone was impressed by his side’s ability to stifle the opposition.

“Valencia is a team that plays very well. They put a lot of people in front of the ball but the first-half we played well.

“In the second-half, after the goal, they had a good spell but we defended very orderly.

“Courtois gives the same value as the work of Raul Garcia. We all played a difficult tie.”

Jose Sosa made his Atletico debut in the match and Simeone expects more to come from the Argentine.

“He is a major player,” Simeone said of the on-loan midfielder.

“We will see that in the future. He showed today that there are a couple of things which we will develop.”

Tags Atletico Simeone