Diego Simeone is looking forward to finally enjoying some home comforts as Atletico Madrid get set to play at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium for the first time.
After going on the road for their first four competitive games of the 2017-18 season, including Tuesday’s 0-0 Champions League draw away to Roma, Atleti will finally start life at their new ground against Malaga on Saturday.
Despite excitement mounting at the prospect of experiencing the gleaming 67,000-seater venue on a matchday, Simeone is also making sure he remains focused on the task at hand – picking up three points in LaLiga.
“We’ve been playing away games and it’s a great sense of happiness to come home and be with our fans, which we definitely need,” he said.
“It’s been three LaLiga matches and one Champions League fixture with a small number of our fans, since we’ve been playing away. The important thing is we’re going to play at home.
“We’re thinking about Malaga, a team with lots of good players and a great coach. The way I prepare our game plan is by looking at the players the rival team has, and they have good players.
“Since they have a good squad, we have to be fully concentrated. We need to be comfortable and have our fans push us from the start.”
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) September 15, 2017
Simeone believes Atleti’s supporters, inspired by the facilities inside the state-of-the-art venue, will make it an intimidating place for opposing teams to visit.
“The fans will definitely notice that the outside of the stadium needs some improvements, but that’s normal since it’s new. When they step inside the Wanda Metropolitano, they’ll see how impressive it is,” he added.
“All I can imagine is the fans cheering us on and it’ll definitely be an intimidating place. They’ll have such an important role for the team.
“It’s a closed stadium and you’ll be much closer to the pitch, compared to the Calderon. Obviously, more fans will fit in the stadium and now they’ll have a much better view.
“The feeling is that we’ll look up and see a massive amount of fans and if they keep cheering us on like they’ve done their whole life, it will fire us up.”
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