Atletico Madrid cannot afford to dwell on last season’s Champions League heartbreak against Real Madrid, according to Atletico coach Diego Simeone.
Simeone’s Atletico were defeated by their city rivals 4-1 in last season’s Champions League final after extra time, as Real went on to clinch their tenth European Cup.
Atletico now have the chance to square things up with their next door rivals, as they face Real in the Quarter-Finals of the Champions League.The Argentine however believes his side must not let the revenge element consume them.
“That [comparisons to last season’s final] is normal, for both sides,” he told a press conference.”
“[But] we need to focus on what is going to happen tomorrow. What happened in the past is over. We have a great chance to do something important tomorrow.”
Real Madrid Coach Carlo Ancelotti described Simeone as ‘one of the best coaches in the world’ during his press conference ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg between the two Spanish rivals and now,Simeone has returned the compliment, claiming that he has “great admiration” for the Italian.
“I really admire him as man that is highly respected and skilled. He doesn’t change his ideas following defeat or victory and that sets him apart. It fills me with pride to compete with the best, and Carlo’s up there. Every side that he’s managed, he’s handled very well, and that speaks volumes for him”.
Simeone also hailed the quality that Real have within their ranks, The Atletico manager said “They’re all extraordinary players. We have a huge amount of respect for the quality and ability they have. The presence of Ramos, Modric and James adds to an already impressive side. Including Modric will give them more aggression and presence in midfield”.
Simeone also announced that both Oblak and Mandzukic were fit to play in his side’s quarter-final clash. Atletico are unbeaten against Real this season having won four of the matches and drawing the other two matches.
The two Madrid sides face each other at the Vicente CalderA?n Stadium in the first leg, with the second leg scheduled to be played at the Bernab u.