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Koke: I think Simeone will stay at Atletico

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 29 May 2016

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Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke believes Diego Simeone will continue at the capital club next season, despite the coach weighing up his future.

Simeone admitted he is considering his future at Atletico following Saturday’s 5-3 penalty shoot-out defeat to city rivals Real Madrid in the Champions League final at San Siro.

The 46-year-old Argentine coach has been linked with Inter, having openly talked up a return to his former club.

When told that Simeone might be considering his future, Koke said: “That I don’t know, I just found out from you.

“Whatever he does, we will respect his decision. But I think he’ll be here in the club with us.”

The Champions League final defeat in Milan was Atletico’s second to Madrid in three seasons.

Atletico recovered from a slow start to earn a 1-1 draw after extra time, as Yannick Carrasco’s second-half effort cancelled out Sergio Ramos’ 15th-minute opener.

It call came down to spot-kicks and Atletico blinked first, with Juanfran hitting the post, which allowed Cristiano Ronaldo to step up and convert the winner.

“Today the first 20 minutes we’ve done wrong, it is the truth. But after we played good football, we attacked, we tried but didn’t succeed,” Koke said.

“We always said that the goal was to be third and pass the group stage of the Champions League. I think it’s a season to be proud of what we’ve done. We are hurt of course, when you get to a final you want to win.

“I apologise to all fans of Atletico, who had all the enthusiasm in the world. Now we must continue to work and fight for next year.”

On Juanfran’s unsuccessful penalty, Koke added: “We must encourage him. He has not had the fortune to score the penalty, but assisted the equaliser, then there is nothing to reproach.”

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