Diego Simeone has moved to clarify comments he made about the state of La Liga, claiming the competition is unequal rather than boring.
The Atletico Madrid coach had claimed after his side’s 4-1 defeat to Barcelona on December 16 that Spain’s top division is dull.
He has now elaborated on that statement, detailing widespread frustration over a lack of competitiveness at the top of the table.
In an interview with Argentine website Canche Llena, Simeone said: “I was in a hurry and I made a mistake (when he called the Liga boring). The correct description would be to say that it is unequal.
“Since 2004, when Valencia were Champions, the title has only gone to Barcelona or Real Madrid. That’s an undebatable fact. They win it and the rest are miles behind, but it’s not boring. The football is good.
“I was trying to make the point that the league kills the dreams of fans who hope that one day their team could be champions. The huge budgets of Barcelona and Real Madrid make for a vast difference.”
Simeone added that he cannot see beyond Barcelona for this season’s Liga crown, given the form to date of Tito Vilanova’s side.
“Sadly, other fans can’t dream,” he said.
“Barcelona’s current campaign is stunning. I wouldn’t say it’s impossible to catch them, but the numbers are what they are, they don’t lie.”
Atletico have enjoyed a superb 2012, winning the Europa League title and the European Super Cup while maintaining strong domestic form which sees them occupy second place in the table at the winter break.
With the likes of star striker Radamel Falcao on their books, some observes have even gone so far as to label this one of the best Atletico sides of all time, but Simeone insisted such talk is premature.
“Time will tell, let’s see when we can take the long view,” he said.
“Now isn’t the time. When I talk about this I prefer to reply that we need to be more competitive every day.
“Atletico is a team, and a team reacts when the individuals are up to the challenge. We need everyone: (Diego) Godin, Gabi, Arda Turan, Koke, Adrian, Diego Costa, and of course Falcao and the guys out wide, Filipe Luis and Juanfran.”