Diego Simeone has revealed some of the tactics he plans to take into Wednesday’s Europa League decider, while also discussing where he believes Athletic Bilbao will be dangerous.
Speaking to UEFA.com, ‘El Cholo’ acknowledged that, despite facing Spanish opposition, the game will be different to a La Liga match.
“We’ll need to be compact and fast, and more focussed than in a league match,” Simeone said.
“To face another Spanish club, having played each other before in the league, also means that we know each other very well on many levels. The best thing about facing a Spanish club is that this is very important for Spanish football.”
Simeone is well aware of Bilbao’s style of play thanks to his close relationship with Bilbao manager and fellow Argentine Marcelo Bielsa.
“They’re a team with a lot of intensity, a direct style of football, quick, brave – a team that isn’t afraid to play their way, even in away matches,” he said.
“I’ve always said, I have great admiration for him [Bielsa] and great memories of a great professional person.”
The 42-year-old has had a great start to his managerial career at Atlético and a Europa League title would surely be the icing on the cake for Simeone.