Diego Simeone aimed a thinly veiled dig at Cristiano Ronaldo’s 2016 Ballon d’Or win after an ugly 1-0 victory over Real Betis, insisting nothing matters aside from results.
The award, which is voted for by international coaches and captains as well as journalists, was won by Ronaldo for a fourth time, with many suggesting that his role in helping Real Madrid clinch the Champions League and Portugal win Euro 2016 ultimately vital.
A common criticism of the award is that it occasionally goes to players as much for their teams’ successes as it does for individual brilliance.
And Simeone, whose compatriot Lionel Messi came second and Atletico striker Antoine Griezmann third, used that point of view to dismiss criticism of his own team’s poor performance in Saturday’s 1-0 LaLiga defeat of Betis.
When asked in his post-match media conference whether he felt that only results mattered, he replied: “Do you have doubts about results being the most important thing? Look who won the Ballon d’Or.”
Simeone, who was in a somewhat prickly mood, also vented his frustrations about the home crowd at the Vicente Calderon, acknowledging that he felt “irritated” by the tame atmosphere.
“I played here for five years and have coached here for five more and I know everything [about the club],” he continued.
“When the atmosphere begins to quieten it irritates me a little. We tried to not let that feeling, that sense of tranquillity in the crowd, be transmitted on to the field.
“I don’t like it when it’s quiet.”
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