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Ferdinand ´turned on´ by Simeone´s Atletico

It might be the defender in him, but Manchester United great Rio Ferdinand says he is as excited by Atletico Madrid as he is by the likes of Bayern Munich or Barcelona after watching Diego Simeone lead his team to a second Champions League final in three years.

Atletico have not been without their critics for their counter-attacking football that Simeone has perfected since taking the reins in 2011.

The Argentinian has led Atletico to a La Liga title, a Copa del Rey triumph and a Europa League win as well as a second Champions League final after seeing off Bayern Munich in the semi-finals on Tuesday.

And Ferdinand – a Champions League winner himself under Alex Ferguson at Manchester United in 2008 – said Simeone had complete buy-in from his players.

“A manager has to create an environment where the players believe in his tactics,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.

“They see that playing with this intensity and do it consistently and there has to be genuine belief.

“It is all down to Simeone. Him and his staff have created this foundation.

“It is a powerful thing – players are running their socks off. You only have to look at Antoine Griezmann for example.

“It’s great to see. Some people want to see attacking, thrilling football which is played by Barcelona and Bayern Munich, but I’m equally turned on by this type of football too.”

Wed 4 May, 2016
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