Atletico Boss Diego Simeone has claimed that after the departure of Angel Di Maria, Iker Casillas is now his favorite player at Real Madrid.
“Now the one I like is Casillas” said Simeone. Atletico Madrid are scheduled to meet fierce rivals Real Madrid today and Simeone was speaking in a press conference ahead of the game.
Atletico Madrid have been criticized of playing violent game but Simeone defended the tactics used by him. Simeone said that his side plays intense game and it is upto the referee to decide what is right and what is wrong.
“It is natural to discuss the way we play but this is a contact sport and there’s a referee to decide what is right and wrong. We do not consider ourselves a violent team but a hard-working team that plays with intensity. We evaluated all the matches we played last year and hopefully we can continue down the same path.”
Real Madrid boss Ancelotti criticized Atletico yesterday but Simeone refused to reply to his comments. Simeone said: “What he said seems normal coming from a colleague. In the cup match at the Bernabeu where they beat us there was no comment and we played the same game as we always do. A Madrid side playing at that level is a hard one to beat. That is why we always play at that level.”
“All teams have their rivals. We have played Real Madrid, and the rest before and in football a lot can happen.”
Atletico Madrid beat Casillas’ Real Madrid to win the Spanish Super Cup last month but Simeone said that it will have little impact on today’s game. “It will be different from the Super Cup. The players are now in better physical shape. I do not agree with what I read after Madrid got beat in Anoeta. If Madrid goes 3-0 up with the Kroos chance the game is over. Real Madrid played brightly for 30 minutes. They are a team with speed but and we’ll have to be prepared to counter their game to get close to the result that we want.”
Atletico Madrid are considered as one of the favorites to win the La Liga but Simeone said that Casillas led Real Madrid and FC Barcelona are ahead of his team. “Over 38 games it is difficult to keep up with Real Madrid and Barcelona. Last season, Barcelona had the chance to win the league right until the last day and Real Madrid, after starting badly, could also have won it. Now the possibilities are open.”