‘Atleti a family, not a team’

Diego Simeone describes Atletico Madrid as ‘more of a family than a team’ but admits there are internal disagreements.

Simeone was speaking to El Pais with his comments picked up by Marca as he considered his position in relation to the club.

“No one can feel more important than the club. I feel very loved and very respected, even sometimes by the fans of the opposition, who greet you and appreciate your work,” he remarked.

“This year we needed more of a pace because we’re more identified with speed of execution as in attack we have Jackson Martinez, Luciano Vietto, Angel Correa…

“We knew Oliver Torres, after going through Porto, had expectation and the great hope he could almost be Arda Turan’s natural replacement.

“The arrival of Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco gave us a player of enormous speed and able to transition from defence to attack very well, but be tactically correct.

“So today we are closer to 4-3-3 because Carrasco woke us up to the possibility of having a hectic pace without losing order. But I demand he creates goals because he is good one-on-one.”

Simeone moved on to discuss the need Atletico have to regularly reinvent their squad as big-names move on, but praised the club for making Vicente Calderon a place most players are happy to call home.

“The hardest thing in life is to reinvent yourself and maintain and the hardest thing in football is to find a place you want to be,” Cholo insisted.

“We’ve got a lot of people who want to be here. Diego Godin and Juanfran wanted to be here, Gabi keeps pulling forward, Filipe Luis, Oliver and Fernando Torres wanted to return, Antoine Griezmann is already part of the family…

“More than a team we are a family, and we are a real family. Obviously we have internal problems, there are players that get angry because they don’t play.

“Maybe I should be the father and the grandfather is between Miguel Angel Gil and Enrique Cerezo.

“I’m transparent. My face betrays me, if I get angry or sad, unfortunately that’s what I look like. They tell me I should change the mask, but it’s hard for me.”

Tags Diego Simeone