Simeone: “We have to show what we feel on the pitch and not with words”

It was nine o’clock in Spain, eight o’clock in Porto, when Simeone appeared in the press room of the Do Dragao stadium in the run-up to the last day of the group stage of this Champions League. A game with a bittersweet flavor for the rojiblancos, with no chance of qualifying for the round of 16, with the Europa League as the only consolation, against a Porto that, if they win, finish first in the group. The coach spoke about the match with several proper names. The Champions League, the Europa League, João, the message.

-It could be your last Champions League game with Atleti tomorrow: “The important thing is to be prepared for what touches us at any moment. My dream is to continue working at the club. To be in the Champions League again next season. It is what we set as a goal whenever we start. Do not move away from what we have always looked for game by game. To get to what you are commenting on, there is still a long way to go.”

-What value do you give to follow Europa League: “They taught me as a child to always compete, tomorrow we have a reality situation that awaits us, the opportunity, the possibility of the Europa League, for that we prepare, be strong, visualize it and want it. We have been left out, but we have the opportunity of the Europa League”.

-How is: “It pisses me off more for all the people who work around this whole search that we have been achieving all these years. Not to mention the boys. We are not in the Champions League. From the competitive side, nothing to complain about. Since I was a child they prepared me to compete, since I was a child I know that you can lose, that it is more beautiful to win, I have no doubt”.

-Do you feel that your message may be exhausted?: “Back in the fourth year we said the same thing. When we entered the first pandemic and we were sixth, games away from reaching a place, very difficult, but after the work of many people it was done. And the following season came, when it seemed that we could not win the League, that we would fall, but we did not fall. Last season was also very irregular and, above all, with the support of the club that gave us strength at the most important moment of the year. We were all back together as we have to be to reach the goal. We are out of Champions, it hurts us. It annoys me more because of the responsibility that we have on the part of many people, but it is reality and we cannot go against reality. It is the one we have today, I invite you to be together, strong, show what we feel on the field and not with so many words”.

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-What is urgent to recover more: “Since the match with Sevilla we have begun to have a fairly regular path within what our game allows us and what we are looking for. Our boys have developed it in the best way. We did not do it with such force at home, beyond a missed penalty. It helps us to see that there are things to improve but I believe in the team and I trust my players. And I tell them all the time. I know we have a good team, have patience and know how to sustain blows. And when one affirms himself there in the ring, then one of the others touches him ”.

-How to convince someone who does not live in the locker room: “People need results and when we argue with the styles and discussions that appear in football, people want their team to win. As soon as the team does not win, you are great specialists to open the debate”.

-Morata, Kondogbia and Joao: “Álvaro and Kondogbia wanted to be there, they asked to come to see how they will get up tomorrow. All the games we have, all the teams, the Porto coach has already said this morning, the difficulties we have in preparing them with more theory than practice because we can hardly train. Tomorrow we have to get an important result. If João has to start from the start, let him be the footballer he was those 30 ′ and when the field speaks there is not much to say ”.

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