Thursday, June 20, 2024

Simeone concedes ´it is not easy´ for Atletico to compete with Madrid

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 25 May 2024

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Diego Simeone believes Atletico Madrid have fallen short of their objectives this season, but conceded it is difficult to compete with the “best team in the world” in Real Madrid.

Although they are set for a fourth-place finish in LaLiga, Los Rojiblancos are 21 points adrift of Carlo Ancelotti’s newly crowned champions.

Atleti fell to Borussia Dortmund following a 5-4 aggregate defeat in the Champions League quarter-finals, while they were soundly beaten by Athletic Club in the Copa del Rey semi-finals.

And as a third successive trophyless season comes to pass at the Metropolitano Stadium, Simeone admits his side could have done better.

“We have the responsibility to get into the Champions League every year. You can be left out, but you can also be champions,” he told reporters ahead of Atletico’s final LaLiga game of the campaign against Real Sociedad.

“But with Real Madrid, who are the best team in the world and will continue to be because they have rejuvenated the squad, it is not easy.

“We have to keep working at 120 per cent because 100 per cent is not enough, and 80 per cent is even less to be able to get closer to them, keeping in mind that those below us are also improving.

“We were close to the Copa del Rey final and were expecting to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League. We created the illusion of being in a possible final, and we weren’t able to do it, so now we have to think about what comes next to improve things.

“I have had players who have allowed me to compete as we have done since I arrived, and a coaching staff where everyone who has walked this path has given maximum effort. There is always room for improvement and growth.”

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