Simeone ‘expected’ Atleti departures

Diego Simeone has revealed he was not surprised his team was dismantled after the success of last season.

The Atletico Madrid boss saw the likes of Diego Costa, Felipe Luis, Thibaut Courtois, Toby Alderweireld and David Villa all depart the Vicente Calderon following the La Liga title success and a Champions League runners-up spot.

It is a set of circumstances he believes is part of football and something you learn to accept.

“I wasn’t surprised because we were a team that exploded last year and there are clubs with more economic power than us,” the Argentine told Cadena SER’s ‘El Larguero’ programme.

“They have the ability to choose the players they want and that’s okay. A lot people get confused by saying it’s unfair that they have to leave, but that’s the nature of this profession.

“It’s alright for anybody to want to grow as a footballer elsewhere, so it’s neither good nor bad.”

In that regard, Simeone says the supporters should not hold a grudge against any player who has left the club.

“You have to assess them on how they performed when playing for your team. All of them, from Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa, Felipe…those of them who decided to leave behaved like men and professionals.

“But it’s a situation that motivates me twice over and makes me come alive. It’s good to see new faces arrive.

“That’s not to say we wanted Costa to leave, but what can you do? You stop living off your memories then go and win the Supercopa against Real Madrid, which is what I prefer,”

Simeone went on to praise the manner in which both Villa and Alderweireld departed the club.

“David called me when he left so that we could speak to each other, as did Toby, which pleased me greatly.

“Some leave and you never hear from then again, yet when Toby went he rang and said it was because he expected to play and would return.

“I appreciate all the work they have done. Those are men,” he declared.

Tags Alderweireld David Villa Diego Costa Felipe Luis Simeone Thibaut Courtois