Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone after Champions League qualification – “We have to value what we have”

Atletico Madrid have had a somewhat confusing season, having performed well in stages of the cup competitions, but ultimately been left feeling they should have done more to get through. In La Liga they never really hit expectations, in spite of being the only team to beat Real Madrid this season, but Diego Simeone has sealed Champions League qualification for a 12th straight year.

Few Colchoneros can agree on how to assess the season, and even the Atleti players have given varying answers on the matter in recent weeks. Simeone told Diario AS after their 3-0 win over Getafe that they had to value what they had done each year.

“I want to be champion more than anyone. For twelve years I have been working with a tremendous desire to inflate the balloon [make people excited] in the best way, but sometimes it gets punctured. We try to fight together. We have Madrid, they are 22 points ahead; Barca, three or six; we reached the semifinals of the Copa, quarterfinals of the Champions League… I want to be champion, have no doubt. It’s not easy, but let’s value what we have. If you have it, you don’t value it; and when you lose it…”

There were also kind words for Antoine Griezmann after his hat-trick at the Coliseum. He has returned to form after a fallow few weeks.

“I met him in the elevator and told him: ‘What bad luck to meet the coach. How are you?’ ‘Very good,’ he told me. ‘Hopefully we can see it,’  I told him. And there he was. Beyond the goals, he allows us to impose ourselves, gives us possession, his  interpretation of the game, fluidity… There were other very good performances, the centre-backs, De Paul, Barrios, Llorente…”

“A game that he interpreted very well where to do damage, finished very well and beyond the goals, he gave us circulation, understanding the game and that makes us better.”

Undoubtedly Simeone speaks sense in that the capacity for Atletico to finish in the top four for over a decade without a single down year taking them out of it is highly impressive. Yet undoubtedly they have the resources to put significant distance between themselves and everyone but Barcelona in the league too.

Tags Antoine Griezmann Atletico Madrid Diego Simeone

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