Simeone indebted to Atleti players

Diego Simeone has heaped praise on his Atletico Madrid players as he prepares to celebrate his 200th game in charge at Villarreal on Wednesday.

The Argentine took over from Gregorio Manzano at the Vicente Calderon in December 2011 and has since led the club to La Liga, Copa del Rey, Europa League, Spanish Super Cup and UEFA Super Cup success, as well as an appearance in last season’s Champions League final.

It is a record he is immensely proud of given the fact Atleti have had to sell a number of star players during that time in order to balance the books.

“I felt it was a good decision in coming to the club at a time when things weren’t so good and I’m indebted to the players as they are the ones who have helped us achieve what we have,” Simeone told a Press conference.

“The main difference this year is that we have 10 new players that have needed to adapt but they have helped us be competitive. We won the Super Cup and made it through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League and were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Barcelona.

“We’ve competed well but I always dream of improving and never settle for anything less. If I was told beforehand I’d be going into the last five games with a mathematical chance of winning La Liga for a second consecutive year I’d have taken it.

“If we manage to win all our remaining games then we’d only be three points behind last year’s total and we’ll be trying to get as close as to that possible.”

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