Simeone: ‘I’ve grown with Atleti’

Diego Simeone says he has grown as a Coach at Atletico Madrid after penning a contract extension with the club until 2020.

The Argentine explained to reporters why he renewed his contract when he still had two years remaining on his existing agreement.

“I’ve been given time and confidence to be able to develop this squad and as a Coach I’ve grown greatly,” maintained Simeone.

“There was a great effort made to keep the strong squad we had after winning the Europa League and the Copa del Rey. We only lost a few players and that wasn’t easy, so the success we had was the best thing I received from this club.

“I extended my contract because it gives me the confidence of being able to work in a long-term capacity. Both sides are committed to doing what is best for the future.

“In life it’s not easy to choose and I’ve chosen to be at Atletico Madrid.”

Simeone was asked what was needed for Atleti to be able to compete at the very highest level in both La Liga and Europe.

“We have to remain in the top three in La Liga for the next three years and generate a stable economic situation. I think we are on the right road but it won’t be easy as our rivals are also working hard and improving.

“However, this is the path we must take. Apart from the economic possibilities we need to have very clear and defined ideas,” he replied.

Invited to comment on strengthening his attacking options this summer, the 44-year-old maintained his immediate concern was working with the players he already has.

“We are not thinking of next season’s squad but improving [Fernando] Torres, continuing with Raul Jimenez, looking at why [Mario] Mandzukic is eight goals behind his best, getting more from [Antoine] Griezmann..

“These are the players we are looking at,” concluded Simeone.

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