Although appearing calm and brave in the post-match press conference after their Champions League semifinal defeat, Simeone might re-consider his Atletico future.
Written by Cosmin Mihalescu. May 3, 2017.
Atletico Madrid were beaten 3-0 by local rivals Real Madrid in yesterday’s first leg of the Champions League semi-finals. And this time it looked like Simeone’s team did not have any answer to Real’s attacks. Having previously lost at the limit, this time Atletico looked helpless.
There is no doubt that the Argentinian manager was the main driving force of Atletico’s sensational transformation into a team that fights for La Liga and Champions League every year. But this time, it looked like both the team and Simeone have become tired of always coming this close but still always losing in the end.
Their previous Champions League encounters have all gone in Real’s favour, with two finals lost by Simeone’s side in three years over their city neighbours. Atletico did, however, manage to end a long period of dominance by Real in all competitions, when they won the Copa del Rey in 2013. Since then, they have also managed to win the Madrid derby on numerous occasions, in La Liga, Spanish Cup and Spanish SuperCup.
On Tuesday night, Atletico lacked the competitive attitude and they were heavily punished by a clinical Cristiano Ronaldo, who before this seasons’ meetings was finding it very hard to score against Simeone’s side.
Looking back at the two lost Champions League finals, there was always the feeling of Atletico being close. That was not the case though last night. They were overrun, overpowered and overplayed by Real Madrid.
Simeone kept his head up however and tried to encourage and motivate his team for the return leg, saying that he is not upset or angry, and that he will try to prepare his team for a miracle.
Having won his last trophy with Atletico in 2014 and with a transfer ban imposed by UEFA for irregularities in youth recruitment, Simeone looks more and more open to the possibility of accepting the offer of Internazionale Milano, who are pushing hard for his services.