Diego Simeone was full of praise for his players after their UEFA Champions League win away to Lokomotiv Moscow.
But the Ateltico manager was enthused by his team’s performance, especially Thomas Partey.
The Ghanaian international is often the unsung hero of Atletico. There was no flamboyant unveiling, or big money announcement when it came to Partey.
He quite simply emerged from the clubs academy to stake his claim for a sot in the first team.
Simeone could not be happier. In fact, he had to tell himself to “shut up,” for fear of ging on and on about the player.
In a post-match interview reported by Marca he spoke of his joy at his team’s all-round performance.
He acknowledged Partey and commended his rise from obscurity.
“I could say so many things [about Thomas], but with some of them I have to shut up.”
“I’m very happy with Thomas.”
If he had come from an English or German team, he would be [lauded] but he’s from the academy and he’s just Thomas.”
“He has been working for many years, non-stop.”
Simeone doesn’t want his sides run of solid performances to stop though.
“We need to continue like we did against Real Mallorca and the derby.”
“Today we could create chances, but we were denied as we couldn’t [score] in the first half.”
“We talked and we increased the intensity, believing in the quality of our forwards.”
Joao Felix was instrumental in his overall play, not just the goal that broke the deadlock. He explained how his role as a second striker is helping him.
“Joao Felix’s goal soon arrived and the game opened up.”
“He probably feels more comfortable as a second striker.”
“I think it is not easy to play there because he has to control the team and the game in many situations.”
“On the wing, although he may suffer more, it gives him more possibilities to provide more chances for the strikers.”