Thursday, February 21, 2019

Simeone happy to reunite with Solari in Madrid derby

SoccerNews in La Liga 8 Feb 2019

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Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone is looking forward to a reunion with Real Madrid head coach Santiago Solari this weekend.

The Madrid giants face off at the Wanda Metropolitano with both sides trying to chase down LaLiga leaders Barcelona.

Solari played under Simeone at San Lorenzo and will reunite with his old boss for the first time in Saturday’s clash.

“I’ve known him for a long time,” Simeone told a media conference. “I was his coach at the end of his career, he gave us a lot of class and hierarchy at that time.

“As Argentinians we meet in some common places, we go to eat. I think he is capable and he proved he can do his job, and that as Argentinean makes me happy.”

Solari, who has overseen five wins in their past six games in all competitions, is also keen to do battle against his old coach.

“I respect him a lot, we have been team-mates and he’s also been my coach at San Lorenzo,” the Madrid coach told reporters.

“It’s a nice experience for me to share things at a professional level. Tomorrow will be a great game and we have to go out to compete hard, that’s what we’ll do and they will do.”

Simeone has been given a boost with captain Diego Godin declared fit for the derby having played a full part in Friday’s training session.

The centre-back missed Atletico’s last game, a 1-0 LaLiga loss away to Real Betis, leaving Simeone’s side six points behind Barca in the title race.

“Tomorrow is a game against a team that is growing since the arrival of Solari,” Simeone said. “They have depth on the wings with Vinicius [Junior], [Gareth] Bale and Lucas Vazquez.

“[Karim] Benzema is fantastic. I think we’re doing a good job even if we could not get what we wanted from the last game against Betis. Tomorrow, I hope we get a great atmosphere ahead of facing our rivals.

“I think we’re good. In the previous matches we played well. In the clash against Betis we lacked more depth and verticality, we hope to find it tomorrow.”

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