Diego Simeone has rubbished suggestions that he aimed an offensive hand gesture at Atletico Madrid-Barcelona referee Jesus Gil Manzano on Wednesday.
The Coach was caught on camera making the suspected gesticulation during Los Colchoneros’ 3-2 Copa del Rey defeat to the Catalans, but he maintained his innocence ahead of his side’s trip to Eibar in La Liga on Saturday.
“I didn’t flip off the referee. That’s a big lie,” he said at a Press conference.
“We’re only thinking about the match against Eibar, it’ll be a difficult place to go to.
“They’re opponents who have adapted well to the Primera and have nothing to lose, it’ll be difficult. I’m not thinking about anything else.
“We have the opportunity of playing [either Cristian Ansaldi or Raul Jimenez]. I’ll make sure each player’s able to continue playing their part. We have the three best centre-backs in the league.
“Arda [Turan]’s a little tense. He’s played four straight games and put in great effort.
“Eibar have defensive rigour and pass the ball very well. They’re a functional team with quality on the wings and experience in attack.
“They play the ball nicely into small spaces and know the pitch. It’ll be an intense game, and the team who best control this situation, the quality in small spaces, will win the match.
“Playing against the best teams will improve us. They take you to a place of extraordinary demand.
“During the first half of the season, we competed well with the other two [Real Madrid and Barcelona].
“It’s the essence of the team [to fight], and we won’t change. If we want to compete, we must stay on this path.
“I understand that some of [Atleti’s] criticism only concerns the details which interest you. We’re only thinking about the game.”