Giovanni Trapattoni has declared his admiration for Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone and defended the Liga side’s style of play ahead of their Champions League semi-final second leg at Bayern Munich.
A dazzling solo goal from Saul Niguez gave Atletico a 1-0 victory in last week’s clash at the Vicente Calderon and the hosts made life difficult for Pep Guardiola’s side throughout, despite having less than one quarter of possession during the second half.
Former Juventus, Inter, Bayern and Italy coach Trapattoni sees parallels between Simeone’s style and his own and believes Atletico provide a welcome alternative to the relentless possession football that is not to the 77-year-old’s taste.
“I’m not going to name names, but there are some teams which play the ball around for half an hour without a single shot on goal… that sends me to sleep,” Trapattoni told AS.
“I prefer Simeone’s way – a thousand times. He’s someone who goes right down to the grain and always promises a thrilling spectacle with his intensity. Saying that his side plays badly is a massive lie.”
Nevertheless, Trapattoni believes Inter are in for a tough encounter on Tuesday as he expects Bayern’s winning mentality to be just as strong as during his time in Bavaria.
“The strength to rise to the occasion and pull through in these big matches was ingrained in the DNA of my Bayern.
“For Simeone it’s going to be a very tough match, but anything could happen.
“Ninety minutes at Bayern’s ground is a very long time.”