Barcelona need intensity of Diego Simeone – Rivaldo

Barcelona need the intensity and enthusiasm of a Coach like Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone, according to Rivaldo.

The Blaugrana were downed 3-2 by Diego Simeone’s side in Thursday night’s semi-final of the revamped competition, which is controversially being staged in Saudi Arabia this year for the first time.

It was widely regarded as one of Barca’s strongest performances in recent months – with the side leading 2-1 going into the final ten minutes and also having a further two goals annulled by the VAR technology.

But Alvaro Morata’s penalty in the 81st minute levelled the tie before Angel Correa netted a dramatic late winner for Atleti, who will now meet city rivals Real Madrid in Sunday’s showpiece.

“They cannot keep falling asleep in important games. It's frustrating,” Rivaldo told Betfair.

“The way they controlled the game should have seen them escape on the scoreboard, but the team cannot fall defensively in a duel against such an important rival and trained by Simeone. 

“Cholo is an enthusiastic Coach off the field, always shouting at his players, motivating them to give a little more and, perhaps, that is something that Barcelona is missing today.

“It reminded me of the previous fiascos in the Champions League. After losing in Saudi Arabia, the club could seriously jeopardise the continuity (of the Coach). I now see it as a close possibility or even for the end of the season.”

There have been reports that Barcelona have met with former club captain Xavi Hernandez in Qatar – where he is managing – regarding a possible future return to the Camp Nou.

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