Diego Simeone says he has “no interest” in the result of the Clasico on Saturday as Atletico Madrid aim to close the gap to La Liga’s top two.
Real Madrid host leaders Barcelona looking to draw level on points with the reigning champions, while Atletico will be looking to take advantage of dropped points by either side to make up ground when they take on Real Betis.
Simeone considers the fixtures this weekend to be potentially significant, with Champions League hopefuls Sevilla facing a difficult trip to take on Eusebio Sacristan’s Real Sociedad, but his focus is solely on Atleti.
“The truth is I have no interest [in the Clasico]. What interests me is that we play a good game and keep going in the way we have been,” he said.
“There are big games in this round. Sevilla are also going to San Sebastian and that’s a difficult game, too.
“We have to focus on what we have to do. I expect a very strong team, especially with the players they have up front.”
Fernando Torres has spoken of his desire to extend his contract at the Vicente Calderon in recent weeks but Simeone says any decision on the veteran striker’s future will be made based on form and not his standing among the supporters.
“As I said to Fernando from day one, I value him as a player, not an idol of the club,” Simeone said. “I demand the level of the footballer that I hope he is, and time will tell if he then renews or not.”
Torres has scored twice in 10 Liga appearances so far this season.