Simeone confident hard work will pay off

'El Cholo' reflected on Barça match & spoke of his plans for upcoming trip to Andalusia

atletico madrid coach diego el cholo simeone in his weekly press conference

Simeone at Wednesday's press conference
(clubatleticodemadrid.com)

Atlético coach Diego Simeone is making a habit of addressing club matters on a weekly basis.

On Wednesday morning, ‘El Cholo’ gave another one of his in-depth midweek press conferences, hitting on a broad scope of Atleti topics du jour.

The Rojiblanco boss revisited the loss to Barcelona on Sunday and looked ahead to our upcoming clash at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, where we will square off against a Sevilla side he described as a team “on the up”.

Below is an excerpt of the press conference, the full transcript of which can be found on Atlético’s official website here.

Early assessment of our trip to Sevilla
We’ll be facing [Sevilla] without Godín and Falcao because they are suspended. The youngsters that played with the Olympic selection are arriving and beginning on Thursday, the other guys with their national teams [arrive]. On Thursday afternoon is when we all hope to be together to [prepare] for this important match. We will play against a great Sevilla team that are on the up, a team that play well, that have intense midfielders, a midfield that is intense and good at creating scoring chances, and players with height. On the wings they have Reyes and Navas, very important players that [pose a threat]. So it will be a nice, lovely match before a great fan base that will be experienced with a beautiful atmosphere. A great match.

On the effect international duty may have on his players
I always say that going to the national team is a source of pride for the player. It makes me, as a coach, happy when the players go to the senior [national] team, because it’s every player’s goal. I took part for 14 years, coming and going and traveling and I know what it means and how good that moment feels for one, as a player. Let’s hope they come back with the joy of having participated and we’ll see, when they return, what condition they are in and who we can use or not.

On Atleti’s options up front this weekend without Falcao
We are mulling over the options we have. We’ve played with Salvio, in the match against Lazio, which he did well in. We’ll see Arda’s [condition] upon his return. We’ll see how we can use Koke, if we move Juanfran up, we’ll see what position we put Adrián in, if more withdrawn on the wings or as the centre forward. We have these alternatives and we’ll try to find our best possibilities for a very nice match.

On his phone call with Adrian on Tuesday to enquire about a knock the striker sustained in the pre-match warm-ups of the friendly between Spain and Egypt’s U-23 Olympic selections
I spoke to him when he was in the stands watching [Spain’s pre-Olympic squad] match. I called to ask him how he felt and he’s arriving now. We’ll surely converse a little more in a bit. He’s sore, obviously, because he had played on Sunday night and not even 48 hours had transpired yet. It’s normal. I also think Isco, of Málaga, was sore.

On the refereeing controversy from this past Sunday
I don’t really follow those that complain or not. Everyone is free to express themselves however they want. In the long run, the campaign gives and takes things because they are all human mistakes and they happen in the games. Not so much the referee and his linesmen, for whatever reason or other they didn’t catch an offsides, but tomorrow they won’t see another one that goes in our favour. This is football, and I don’t consider it an excuse. They’re also running at 2000 RPM and have to make calls in situations that when we are watching on television [we can see] much more easily. Let’s hope the campaign gives you more than it takes from you, although right now they are taking more from us than what they are giving to us, [but we’ll catch our break].

Reflecting on the Barcelona match
The important thing is that we played a great game against the best team in the world, that they created very few scoring chances, that we chose to play a closed first half, that the second one was very important, and that the team was able to remain in line with the performances in all the other matches versus Barcelona. That makes me happy, I feel fine. The other details of the moment come and go, but what matters is one’s state.
Now we will take on a club that are growing, that are coming off of a huge triumph in Valencia and that defeated Osasuna. I’m familiar with Sevilla. They are a team whose motivation comes quickly, and today, they are enjoying one of those moments because they have the tools to fight for the same spots we are all fighting for.

On his mixed feelings with regard to the Barça loss
The other day, after the game, I felt I was in a conflicted situation because the people congratulate you, ‘well done!’, but we lost. The team gave off a good impression, they were present, playing their match and that has to give us the strength to grow from there. Then, people are very spontaneous, I’ve always said it, especially so when it comes to our fans. The people react to what they see and they saw a team that committed themselves with the tools we have. We could’ve played a good game, but it’s behind us now and it’s not helpful for our next match, because we take on a different opponent, with a lot of speed, especially through their attackers. We’ll see how they resolve Negredo’s absence and it will be a good game.

On having only taken three of the last 12 points up for grabs
Everything depends on how you look at it, because when we got here we were 10 points out of fourth place and today, we are three points out.

On the lack of goals by the team’s strikers the past couple of weeks and the battle for a Champions League berth
Sometimes goals are scored by the forward but other times they are not, and a win or loss doesn’t depend on that. It will be a great match against a team that are excited, the same way a lot of teams are excited, to continue fighting to situate ourselves in those [top] positions. The team that have more resistance, more courage, more valor, more perseverance, is going to survive. We’ll have to wait and see. The next match doesn’t decide everything, it will go fixture-to-fixture. The battle is a beautiful one, it’s very competitive. A lot of teams are in the hunt. When we arrived it looked like Málaga could come out in third place, then it was said they’d be in 11th, and today they are in fourth or fifth. This is ever-changing and it will be this way until the end. Obviously, the weakest [team] will not be in the spot where we all want to be in the end.

On perseverance and hard work in football
Doing things wrong results in a loss, and doing things right, maybe you don’t win today or tomorrow, but hard work and perseverance in football pays off. In these last few matches we haven’t taken the points we were looking for, but that’s football. I think the most important thing for a team is the way you look to play games and how you decide to play against any opponent, and we look to play the same way. That is an important step. At the end of the season, we’ll see where our hard work took us.


  • Derek Maaijen

    I’m confident the hard work will indeed pay off, and if there’s one thing that’s certain then it’s that Simeone will continuously make his players work hard, which is what we need at Atleti

  • ratchet

    Im pretty sure that it will all be good in the end. We WILL get CL, im sure of it.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Anyone watching the international friendlies?

  • Edletico

    Currently watching Englabd vs Holland

  • Javi Lozoya

    Cool! Edletico, I like the fact England is currently playing with lots of young players, btw, I’m watching Germany vs. France.

  • Edletico

    Yeah, most of their expierienced players are overrated IMO. Good to see them following Spain and Germany with the youngsters. Hoping Salvio will come on for Argentina soon

  • Javi Lozoya

    Agreed. Hope Salvio plays. Speaking about Atleti players, Arda played about 75 minutes for Turkey, too bad they lost.

  • Edletico

    Need Salvio to play well, gain confidence as he will prob be the one to replace Falcao this weekend. Sounds like Turan is over the injury then.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Freakin’ Shaqiri just scored the equalizer against Argentina. I still dream of what could have been if he would have signed for Atleti. I guess we may never know.

  • ratchet

    Im watching England v Holland. Its true, most of our experienced players never seem to turn up when they pull on an England shirt. Looking forward to seeing how thr young players develop. Could be somethibg special. Then again, over the past decade that was supposed to be a golden generation, it usually never quite works out. Oh well, ill still be hoping and dreaming of what might be…

  • Javi Lozoya

    Speaking about the England match, United is representing, Smalling, Ashley Young, Welbeck, that’s great for United.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Salvio comes in for Maxi Rodriguez in about the 77th minute.

  • Javi Lozoya

    my bad it was about the 71th minute.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Boo for Arjen Robben.

  • Javi Lozoya

    dang, freakin’ Huntelaar.

  • Edletico

    Ouch, that looked nasty

  • ratchet

    Oh. My. God England. 2-2 and im on cloud 9. A minute later im shaking my head in despair. That shaking my head in despair

  • ratchet

    Oh. My. God England. 2-2 and im on cloud 9. A minute later im shaking my head in despair. That shouldnt happen. Its awful. 🙁

  • ratchet

    Sorry bout the double post, internet went dodgy

  • Javi Lozoya

    Yeah, it would have been an incredible comeback. Freakin’ Robben. But you gotta give it to England. They played with a very young squad against a World Cup finalist like Netherlands. Most Dutch players from the XI are experienced and have been playing together for a long time now, and despite that, England managed to fight back. I wonder what would’ve happened if Wilshere, Rooney and other experience players would’ve played. It would’ve been a whole different story. But I think the question is: How many of these young players who featured against Netherlands are gonna actually be featuring in England’s starting XI during the Euro?. Probably not too many.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Anyone watching México vs. Colombia?, Chicharito vs. Falcao. It’s gonna be a great match. I highly recommend you guys to watch it through stream.
    Colombia probably has better players individually than México overall, but México is a strong team and their strength is than they play as a team.
    I think México is gonna win. Hope Chicharito scores.

  • ratchet

    I didnt watch Mexica v Columbia, but Falcao scored and Columbia won 2-0.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Yeah, don’t even mention it. I saw the whole match. Falcao was just lucky. He was in the right place at the right time. I’m quite a bit disappointed but proud of my team.

  • colmiak

    luck had little to do with it, he was waiting to pounce as soon as he got the chance. being in the right spot is key and he made sure he was there 🙂

  • Javi Lozoya

    This just gets better and better. Like I said before, he was in the right place at the right time. He was lucky the Mexican defender that was marking him (Zavala) left him alone and defended just awful and didn’t close in. I know being on the right spot is the key, I just said it, don’t patronize me. Football is usually like that. One team makes a mistake and the other takes advantage of it. As simple as that.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Speaking about Falcao, he got a yellow card for an awful dive, seems he hasn’t learned his lesson. He got a yellow card against Barca and he misses the match against Sevilla and he did it again too against México.
    He is a great player, I don’t even have to highlight that, he is a top 5 number ‘9’ but he needs to get it together and stop getting too many yellow cards. anyways.
    It’s not like it matters but I liked Dorlan Pabón from Colombia national team, and it’s not this particular match against México. He is having an outstanding season with Atletico Nacional in Copa Libertadores. He scored a double against mighty Peñarol at the mythic Estadio Centenario. They say it’s never an easy task to score a goal against any Uruguayan team because of the “garra Charrúa”, especially Peñarol and as visitors. Yet, Atletico Nacional trashed Peñarol as visitors and Pabón scored 2 goals. He is lighting fast and has a powerful shot. He would be a great signing for Atleti for the right wing. He is a player to watch.

  • Javi Lozoya

    James pause to assist Pablo Armero for Colombia’s second goal was world class. His timing was perfect, I gotta give it to him, that was really impressive. He is a midfield maestro despite being only 20 years. Damn!, can you guys imagine him in 3 or 5 years?, he is gonna be a top player. We should have signed him after he won the championship with Banfield. He really is a great player.

  • Mais

    @ratchet

    really glad to see ur optimism!

  • k14

    Damn, Saudi out of world cup qualifiers :/
    Sux specially since I’m considering attending Brasil World cup :/

    Canada lost aswell :/

  • ratchet

    @mais, trust me, optimisms long gone 🙂 I think we did ok though, against holland. Saying that, the wembley factor played a part in that. Im hoping that we get to the semis. That would be good.

  • Mais

    Lol I meant about atleti :p

    Shucks about england :p

  • ratchet

    oh right, yh happens all the time. A commentator summed it up: despair (hollands first 2 goals), hope (cahills goal), joy (youngs equiliser) and then back to despair (robbens winner) A lifetime of watching england 🙂 Atletis different, i really see the potential for great things, history doesnt always repeat itself. We are going forward, look how far weve cone since 2002 (i havent been following atleti from then, i started in 2010, but i meant from newly promoted to trying to qualify for CL in 9 years) Trust me, good things are ahead.

  • Mais

    i lost a bet rooting for england in 2006, i know those feeling(s) haha dang italians :p

  • ratchet

    yh, words of warning, never, ever put bets on england. It could all go very wrong. It usually does 😀

  • palc

    Hmm everyone’s a England fan. England must be the most overrated team in the world. Ever.

  • Mais

    cant say im a fan, it was just part of the bet structure between friends

    i recommend the book Soccernomics for anyone interested in reading on why England underperforms

  • ratchet

    hmm, i think that everyone follows their country that they are from. Its ok to like other national teams but theres only really one for me. Thats my beloved and almost equally hated england. Im a neutral for other internationals. But i agree, we are very overrated because we play more as individuals than as a team, but we have world class players, thats why we are so highly rated. Its always not quite or if we only when it gets to major finals, but we dont play with an arrogant swagger. We play with a passion that resembles the english. It mostly only shows with parker, but some of our players are capable of great things, like when we beat spain. We are not a dominating team however. Its what i hate, like when we play boring football. I hope someday we will win the world cup though, and no matter how bad england play, england supporters keep coming in thousands. Thats why i follow england, not a team like spain. Well, that and the fact im english, of course..

  • Javi Lozoya

    I don’t. I like México, Brazil and Germany. I also liked Venezuela during the Copa América.

  • I like Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Netherlands and Trinidad and Tobago. If u have a problem, rock so, dpnt tell me who to support~!!!!!!!

  • *dont

  • ratchet

    but wouldnt you back your own nation over other countries? im not telling anyone who to support, at the end of the day its nothing to do with me, i just thought that people would support their own country. Maybe its just me. Sorry if i caused any offene, i certainly didnt intend to.

  • Javi Lozoya

    No worries Rachet. I said that I support México because palc thinks everyone supports England and I’m with México until the end even if they lose or tie. I’ll still cheer on them. Then I’m with whoever is still in a important competition between Brazil and Germany. And I like Venezuela because their team is growing each year.

  • ratchet

    im always a fan of the underdog, so i hoped venezula would go far in the copa america. and they beat brazil.

  • Javi Lozoya

    México-Colombia higlights. fast forward it until about the 1:49 minute, there’s James and his world class timing.
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xp56ui_mexico-vs-colombia-0-2-goals-highlights_sport

  • Javi Lozoya

    It hurt quite a bit but him still proud of my team.

  • ratchet

    Was it a good match Javi? I thougjt ot would be and its sounds like it was quite good

  • Javi Lozoya

    It was Ratchet. Pretty exciting. México tried to play offensively as always but it lacked clarity upfront and Colombia made things difficult for México by pressuring them and counterattacking with their fast side backs like Zúñiga and Armero. Dorlan Pabón, which is a great player, made things difficult for México too. It was his strong shot that got deflect it by the Mexican GK that allowed Falcao to be alone and just push the ball into the back of the net.
    On the other hand, Chicharito was all alone by himself and therefore couldn’t do much to score. His teammates, Gio Dos Santos and Pablo Barrera we’re just ghostly, only Guardado was creating danger for the Mexican team.
    Then in the second half the Mexican team just disappeared and James from Colombia, did a great play holding the ball and timing a great pass for Armero who made a cross and Juan Guillermo Cuadrado scored Colombia’s second goal and that finished off México completely. But like I said, I’m proud of my team and despite this tough defeat I’ll be with México until the end.

  • ratchet

    ah, that is unlucky on mexico. Theyre a strong side, got a lot of young players in their team, theyve got a good future ahead of them. btw, how come mexico played a strong team for the gold cup but then played a weaker side in the copa america? i think it may have been exhaustion

  • Javi Lozoya

    Yeah we we’re unlucky. But like you said, the future looks bright. About the Copa América, it is a pretty complicating topic. The thing is that México is not part of the South American confederation. The Conmebol. México is part if the North American and Central American confederation, the Concacaf, and the Concacaf wanted México to play with their strongest team for the Gold Cup and didn’t allow México to play with their strongest team for the Copa América. They forced México to play with U23 and only 3 over age players. Chicharito could have played, I wanted to see him at the Copa América but like you know Sir Alex Ferguson told the Mexican federation that he wanted Chicharito to play only one tournament. It’s pretty complicated this thing.

  • ratchet

    ah, yh i see. Thats quite unfair on mexico tbh. They did really well in the gold cup though, didnt chicharito break the record for the most goals scored in one gold cup?

  • palc

    With all due respect ratchet I don’t think England is a world class team. They have good defenders and GK (finally) But very, very mediocre midfielders and forwards ( except Rooney who is world class). England have only three or four world class players. The rest is either ok+ or mediocre.

    Only my opinion.

  • ratchet

    to some degree i agree with you palc. But in the players who are not world class, most are under 25. However, our midfielders are meant to be world class. Lampard, Gerrard and Terry are all world class. Or at least they can be. However, people like Baines are not going to change our fortunes. Basically, we need a younger left-back, a replacement for parker and another quality striker with rooney. I cant see welbeck being that striker.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Chicharito scored 7 goals in the Gold Cup and was named the tournament MVP but didn’t surpass the record of most goals scored of Luís Roberto Alves “Zague”, another Mexican striker who scored 11 goals in 1993’s Gold Cup.

  • ratchet

    Still pretty close though, and hes only 23

  • Serbia, Uruguay or Portugal for the World Cup 😀

  • Javi Lozoya

    Yeah, Chicharito was close and like you say, he is only 23, I’m sure and confident he is gonna improve a lot, both at Man U and with the Mexican national team.