‘I am never disrespectful with colleagues’ – Diego Simeone defends Atletico amid criticism of style and approach


Diego Simeone sees no issues with Atletico Madrid’s more conservative approach in the big games, suggesting his tactics will be similar in the second-leg UEFA Champions League quarter-final match against Manchester City.

Atleti aims to score a 1-0 goal when they host Premier League leaders at Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday in their Champions League quarter-final match.

Kevin De Bruyne ‘s strike in the second half resolved last week’s first leg at the Etihad Stadium, where Simeone used a defensive system.

Athletes gained only 29.5% while playing only 297 passes to 696 of their rivals as they failed to make a single effort or win.

It was the first time since 2012 that either team had not conceded a single shot in a Champions League game, with City having 15 attempts, but only two to score.

Former Athletes coach Arrigo Sacchi has criticized Simeone while City manager Pep Guardiola appeared to be questioning his team-mate, saying that from “pre-historic” it was difficult to demolish a deep-defending team by two to five lines.

However, Simeone refused to give up, saying that he was proud to show his respect.

“I’ve been coaching since 2005, and I’ve always said the same thing: I’ve never commented, I’ve never disrespected my colleagues,” he said.

“I put myself in the position of the coaches I compete with, and I understand that there are different ways of expressing your feelings as a coach.

“If someone does not recognize a colleague, I do not include that. The opinions of others, the media, former players, people who have not been involved in the game for a long time have ideas and they speak. Free speech, and we can all express an opinion.

“There are ways to do it among colleagues and I have one: always respect others, always, always.”

While sticking to his ideas on how to get the best out of his team against City, Simeone has admitted he wants to attack.

He added: “I will not compromise on what we believe.

“We will try to move the game when we think we can hurt them. In a football match anything can happen.”

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