Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has paid tribute to Raul Garcia ahead of the midfielder's impending transfer to Athletic Bilbao.

The 29-year-old was not part of the Atleti team who defeated Sevilla 3-0 at Sanchez Pizjuan in La Liga on Sunday as he applied the finishing touches to his move north, and the Coach praised the Basque native for his eight years of service to Los Colchoneros.

“We had one of our best games on the road in recent times,” he said after the game.

“The result seemed to suggest we were far superior, but our opponents had a very competitive squad, one of the best in Spain, and we had a team that had confidence in taking their chances.

“The best thing [about our display] was our high intensity.

“In our last game [against Las Palmas], we struggled. It wasn't a game like this one, especially in terms of continuity. We didn't have control of that game.

“We're always looking at our rivals in the table, but we're already thinking about our next game.

“[On Garcia's departure], we say goodbye to a man and a captain. He deserves this opportunity.”

Tags Diego Simeone Raul Garcia Transfers