Simeone: “I’m delighted for all Atlético fans”

'El Cholo' praises his men after eliminating Valencia in Europa League semi-finals

'El Cholo' on the sidelines at the Mestalla (EFE)

'El Cholo' on the sidelines at the Mestalla (EFE)

Atlético coach Diego Simeone, fresh after having led los Colchoneros to the final of the Europa League with their 11th straight victory in the UEFA tournament, spoke proudly of the squad following their 1-0 shutout of Valencia at the Mestalla on Thursday.

“I am very happy, mainly for the players, who have made an enormous effort,” ‘El Cholo’ was quoted as saying by

“What they do is heroic. Playing on Sunday, on Thursday and then on Sunday again for almost two months with a small squad. We also had some injuries to important players such as Antonio López and Silvio, who have barely been able to help us.

“Also, I am happy for the board, who have trusted us to lead this group, which was well built from the beginning. Obviously, I am delighted for all the Atlético fans because today they are proud to support this team.”

The Rojiblanco legend, who is one match away from lifting his third title with Atleti – this time as a coach – then proceeded to give his assessment of the clash against los Che.

“We started well in the first seven or eight minutes, but we knew they could hurt us between the lines with [Sergio] Canales,” he said.

“They played very well for a part of the game and were able to play the way they normally do here at Mestalla. However, with a tactical change we started to win the ball back and restrict them in the area behind Mario Suárez and Tiago.

“In the second half we had no scares, we knew that eventually they were going to leave more spaces and then Adrián [López] came up with his goal to settle the tie.”

Simeone then looked ahead at the final in Bucharest set to take place on the 9th of May, a match in which he will face off against Argentine compatriot Marcelo Bielsa, whose Athletic Bilbao side saw off Sporting Lisbon at the San Mamés Thursday.

“Athletic are having a superb tournament,” said Simeone.

“They are going to play in the final of the Copa del Rey and will now also play in the Europa League final. I can only congratulate them. I know Marcelo Bielsa well and also the people who work with him. It will be a nice final between friends but we want to win.

“I am very proud to be back at Atlético and I feel a lot of responsibility. Today Atletico people will go to bed very happy.”

Adrián: “I struck it with all my might and it went in”

Adrián, who scored the game’s lone goal – a scorcher that sealed our passage through to the final – spoke to Spanish television station Telecinco on the field after the final whistle had blown, AS reports.

The Asturian forward, who with his strike became the first Spaniard ever to score 11 goals in a single European tournament reports Spanish football statistics guru Mister Chip, said he was “super happy”.

The 24-year-old was then asked about his goal, explaining the whole play as follows:

“It was a counter and we knew we could do damage. I struck it with all my might and it went in.”

  • Sanchez Moreno

    Arda and Adrian were both great. Bilbao is hard to beat but in Atleti we believe in…

  • shlomgar

    Have no mistakes, the final will be the hardest game we had this year. After seeing the game in Bilbao I’m glad we meet Athletic only in Bucharest.

    This time I’m nervous as hell!!!

  • Los Colchonero

    When haven’t you been nervous?

  • Beautiful goal from Adrian. We need to keep this up in the future. Come on Adrian, Diego, Falcao, Arda and Salvio get us champions league football next season and most importantly el cholo!!

  • Scott

    How do we get tickets for the final!!

  • Javi Lozoya

    And I’m delighted with you Mr. Simeone. You have done an amazing job despite arriving in January. You have taken Atleti to another Europa League final in your first season ever as the Atletico manager, and that is a great accomplishment, it’s priceless.
    Thank you Mr. Simeone for that and may I see you with the Europa League champion trophy on May, 9, 2012 at Bucharest because you have been important and if Atleti is playing the final is in a big amount because of you.
    Grande Cholo!!

  • ratchet

    I really hope this will be a long a succesfull rein with simeone. When I think about what he has done it is incredible, and makes me feel bad for every time ive critisised the team. He gets no where near the recognition he deserves. I know his contact runs out at the end of next season but i hope he stays longer, i like his idea of taking things game-by-game, instead of thinking about squad rotation he is seeing every game as important as the rest, and he is right. When 3 points are at stake, it doesnt matter whether you are against a direct rival or a team with nothing to play for. And his european run, incredible. Think about it, we beat valencia at the mestalla under circumstances making the match much harder than a league match. We proved we are better than them because valencia needed goals, not just a win, and it was a semi-final, both teams only chance of siverware this season, not to mention they wanted revenge. Last season, United only beat valencia 1-0 and drew at Old Trafford. Atleti’s results are better in both matches. I believe we can win the europa league, but even if we dont, i am still very happy with the team, reaching a final is a big thing. Roll on 9th May…

  • Javi

    Scott you will be able to get richest from the team website starting Sunday
    Don’t buy from individuals there are a lot if scammers

  • Javi

    I meant tickets

  • ascky

    I have 2 Europa League Final tickets to sell , if anyone interested send me a message at [email protected]

  • Popescu

    I have 7 tickets for Europe League final.Contact me at [email protected] if u are interested