Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone spoke proudly of his players following their 2-1 aggregate win against fierce rival Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal, which concluded on Wednesday with Atleti’s 1-0 win at the Vicente Calderon. Following the famous win, Simeone spoke about the mood in the locker room.
“Happy because we’ve knocked out a great rival,” the former Argentina and Atletico midfielder said. “Barça were in charge for long periods. We need to relax because this doesn’t stop here. We need to get our strength back because we’ve got a tough game on Sunday.”
In addition to being in the UCL semifinals, Atleti is also currently on top of La Liga with six games to go, one point above second-place Barca and three points above third-place Real Madrid. Simeone’s men face Getafe on Sunday, while Barca travels to Granada and Real hosts Almeria.
When asked to reflect on the season so far, the Argentine praised his team’s mentality. “The players just keep going. I admire them. More than just loving them, I love them for the effort they put in. The style is that of the team, not mine. And they never betray it. Great battles are won by those who approach them better. Our players never betrayed our plan, because there is a feeling here and everyone feels it.”