Diego Simeone has finally revealed his thoughts on Atletico’s defeat at the hands of Real Madrid in the Champions League Final in May.
For the second time in three seasons, Atletico Madrid conceded the European title to their neigbours. The defeat has prompted speculation on Simeone’s future with the club.
Although the Argentinian has now confirmed that he will stay with the club, he reflects on the grievance as he leads his club in their upcoming preseason match against Tottenham Hotspur in Melbourne.
“I can’t explain what I thought after losing in Milan in the short time I have,” he confessed to a media conference. “But now I am strong, enthusiastic, excited and growing in every training session.”
“I never spoke with the feeling I would leave Atletico. It’s very difficult to explain what I felt. For me it was a death, and I needed to grieve. And I did it where I was.”
“Now, I’m ready for whatever comes.”
Simeone had also backed club top scorer Antoine Griezmann to be among the final three nominees in 2017’s Ballon D’Or awards.
Antoine Griezmann had produced stellar performances for both Atletico Madrid and France this season.
Griezmann, 25, had failed to lift any silverware in the 2015-16 season and at the European Championships. However, he finished strong and scored six goals for France in the home nation’s campaign up to the final, winning the Golden Boot of the international tournament.
“I’ve no doubt he should be in the final three,” Simeone said. “He’s one of the three best players in Europe and a candidate for the Ballon D’Or. He didn’t win any titles, but he scored goals and was always decisive.”
“Hopefully he will have the chance to win the Ballon D’Or.”