Tiago confirms Atleti exit

Tiago Mendes has confirmed that he will leave Atletico Madrid this summer, admitting “I don’t feel like I’m at the level of my teammates.”

Tiago played a key role in Atleti’s La Liga and Copa del Rey successes between 2013 and 2014, but the veteran midfielder confessed a broken leg in November 2015 “changed” his career as he has played just 15 times for Los Colchoneros since then.

“It’s time to make a decision. I can finish my career now or play in a less competitive League,” the Portuguese told A Bola.

“I’m in a moment of reflection and I’ll make a decision soon, but renewing with Atletico Madrid isn’t an option.

“I could never accept a new contract under these conditions. I couldn’t sign on for one more season because I don’t feel like I’m at the level of my teammates.

“It was in November 2015 when I fractured my tibia against Espanyol. From that moment, my career changed.

“I’ve lived through the pain barrier and endured physical limitations over the course of all these months.

“When it came time to competing, I tried with all my strength, but unfortunately my leg didn’t respond as I would’ve liked.

“At the start of my career, I said I’d only play until 32 years and that I’d never be a Coach, but when I turned 30, I started thinking about being able to coach.

“Maybe a coaching role will awaken an intense heartbeat in me again. Simeone advised me to become a Coach, maybe because he saw leadership in me for the role.

“I hope we bounce back next season and try again to win both the Champions League and the League against two monsters like Real Madrid and Barcelona.”

Tags Tiago Mendes