Diego Simeone has said Atletico Madrid will not lose their humility despite reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Atletico eliminated Barcelona 2-1 on aggregate to reach the competition’s final four, claiming a 1-0 win on Wednesday night at Vicente Calderon to confirm progression.
It is the first time in 40 years that Atletico have reached that stage of the European Cup but speaking at a post-match Press conference, Simeone insisted Atletico’s approach wouldn’t change.
“We’ll maintain the same humility. After 40 years we’re back in a nice place,” Simeone said, according to Marca.
“We trust in our work and now we have an opportunity. We end this competition as competitive as we started it.
“I think we’ve grown a lot. We have more internal competition. The three teams that will be in the semi-final…we’re fine.
“Our idea was to put pressure on [Barca goalkeeper Jose] Pinto whenever he had the ball. Then they overcame the pressure and got to our area.
“We decided it was a lesser evil to let them cross the ball. The match was worked well and we got a great result.”
Atletico’s win came without the services of Diego Costa, who was injured in the first-leg last week.
In his place came Adrian, making a rare start, but winning the praise of the Coach.
“When Diego Costa was injured in Barcelona there was no other player in my mind than Adrian,” Simeone said.
“He has the trust of many people. Those who know him know that he is the player he showed today.
“The decision not to play Costa was taken on [Tuesday] afternoon. He wanted to play and was angry.
“I understood that it was not the time to play him and I hope he is in good shape for Sunday, because we need him.”
The fervent atmosphere at Vicente Calderon also drew praise from El Cholo after the crowd maintained their noise level throughout the 90 minutes.
“For me the people were fantastic,” Simeone said.
“Our players were determined because of their influence. The show from the stands was wonderful.”
Simeone was asked to comment on the build-up to the fixture after there was much talk back and forth between the sides.
“One is speaking every day for this type of game. The important thing is to score no matter how well you play,” he argued, following suggestions from the Barca camp that they were the better team.
“They had the game in their head. Nothing broke the game and they felt safe. They had safety over freedom.”