Simeone toasts Atletico identity after 400-match milestone

By Sports Desk December 05, 2018

Diego Simeone has reflected enthusiastically on the development of Atletico Madrid's "identity" during his 400 matches as head coach.

The highly decorated former Argentina international celebrated the milestone with a 4-0 defeat of Sant Andreu in the last 32 of the Copa del Rey.

The second-leg success, which sealed a 5-0 aggregate victory, keeps Simeone in contention to claim his eighth major trophy in charge of the club he represented with distinction as a player.

Atleti have triumphed in LaLiga, snared the Europa League twice and gone agonisingly close to winning the Champions League since he took over in 2011, all while cultivating a robust, efficient playing style.

"I get a shiver of excitement thinking about it," Simone said of the achievement in quotes reported by Mundo Deportivo.

"The best thing is not to look back. Many people have left since I arrived.

"It makes me happy to improve as a team, as a club. I hope I can give it a lot of energy until I leave, because this club needs a lot of energy.

"The best thing is to have a club in which everyone - from the person that serves you at the bar through to the one that has just arrived or the oldest fan - knows how we play. That is to have an identity."

Atleti overcame a lacklustre first half on Wednesday to score four times after the interval as they eventually disposed of their fourth-tier opponents.

Thomas Lemar, Nikola Kalinic, Angel Correa and Vitolo shared the goals in an encouraging sign of the attacking resources still available to Simeone following Diego Costa's decision to undergo foot surgery in Brazil.

"Costa's injury is important for us. It creates opportunities for other kids to show their ability," the Rojiblancos boss said.

"Now we have options. Kalinic, Gelson [Martins], Correa, [Antoine] Griezmann. We will try to find the best for each game.

"As for Costa, he will be a great addition in February."

Related items

  • Atletico confirm Filipe Luis hamstring injury Atletico confirm Filipe Luis hamstring injury

    Atletico Madrid defender Filipe Luis looks set to be out of action for around three weeks after the club confirmed he has suffered a hamstring strain.

    The Brazilian left-back was forced off an hour into Atletico's dramatic 3-2 win at Real Valladolid on Saturday.

    Atletico announced on Monday that, following an MRI scan, the 33-year-old sustained a grade one strain.

    Although the club have not set a specific return date, a rest period of three weeks is recommended after such injuries.

    As such, Filipe Luis will most likely miss Saturday's visit of Espanyol and the trip to second-placed Sevilla on January 6, although he could be in contention to return against Girona in the Copa del Rey three days later.

    Filipe Luis has played in 13 of Atletico's 16 LaLiga games this term.

  • Barcelona's Vermaelen out for a month with calf injury Barcelona's Vermaelen out for a month with calf injury

    Injury-plagued Thomas Vermaelen will be out of action for a month after suffering a torn muscle in his calf, Barcelona have confirmed.

    Vermaelen was featuring in LaLiga for just the third time this season in the 5-0 crushing of Levante on Sunday when he sustained the injury, forcing his withdrawal for Arthur in the 52nd minute.

    The Belgian has endured woeful luck with injuries in his career, missing lengthy periods at Arsenal due to fitness problems.

    The issues continued after his move to Barca in 2014, robbing him of the chance of being consistently available for selection.

    Vermaelen has already missed almost two months of action this term due to a hamstring strain, and he is unlikely to feature in any of Barca's next five games.

    LaLiga's pacesetters host Celta Vigo in their last game before the mid-season break, returning in January for league action against Getafe and Eibar as well as a two-legged Copa del Rey tie with Levante.

  • Ibrahimovic hints at LA Galaxy stay Ibrahimovic hints at LA Galaxy stay

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic has hinted he is staying at LA Galaxy following rumours linking him with a return to AC Milan.

    Ibrahimovic, 37, joined Galaxy in March after departing Manchester United, and he went on to have an immense impact in his debut MLS campaign, scoring 22 goals in 27 appearances.

    The experienced striker had been linked with going back to Europe and his former club Milan in January, with the Serie A side said to be in the hunt for attacking reinforcements.

    But, after Milan sporting director Leonardo ruled out the signing earlier in December – citing Ibrahimovic's loyalty to Galaxy – confirmation of the Swede staying in the United States seemed to be just around the corner.

    And, in a video posted to his Twitter account, Ibrahimovic has suggested he will be remaining in MLS, saying: "MLZ, I'm not done with you yet."

SportsMax Zone

Latest Tweets

Which match-up is the most mouth-watering of the round of 16? Champions League last 16: Draw in full  See full dr… https://t.co/kRVVZJTPx3
has Shai Hope's performances in the ODIs and now in this T20 changed the views on his ability as a short form crick… https://t.co/e8sRXkT7Ah
Will the Guyana Jaguars win it all again this season? https://t.co/Z7u7pJ57kP https://t.co/oR5FJLOHLz
Follow SportsMax on Twitter
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.