Simeone defends defensive approach as exciting Dortmund come to town

Diego Simeone has hit back at critics of his style of play ahead of Atlético Madrid’s crucial Champions League tie against Borussia Dortmund.

The German side travel to the Wanda Metropolitano with real belief after thumping Simone’s side in the return fixture two weeks ago.

‘El Cholo’ admits that Dortmund played in a ‘perfect way’ in his side’s 4-0 defeat but he will take solace in both clubs’ favourable positions in the group.

Atleti currently sit in second behind Dortmund in Group A but are still 5 points ahead of 2nd-place Monaco.

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Diego Simone’s ‘Cholismo’ style of play, built on structure and efficiency on the ball, has come under scrutiny after his team’s underwhelming start to the season. Los Rojiblancos have netted just 13 times in 11 league games, leaving some to urge the former midfielder to approach the game in a more attacking fashion and he gave this response;

“Hay que elegir una y nosotros tratamos de elegir la que más se adapta más a nuestros futbolistas y en estos siete años mucho no nos hemos equivocado.”

“You have to choose one [style of play] and we try to choose the one that fits our players the best and in these last seven years we haven’t got much wrong”.

Atleti won the La Liga title under Simeone in 2014 and reached two Champions Legaue finals using the exact same approach but some fans are fed up and the manager came under increased criticism following the trip to Germany earlier in the season.

In his pre-match press conference on Monday evening, Simeone spoke about last month’s 4-0 scoreline and complimented Dortmund’s performance;

“La realidad es que fueron más contundentes, jugaron un fútbol vertical, pasaron momentos de agobio y contragolpearon de una manera perfecta. Ante esto sólo queda felicitarles.”

“The reality is that they were more convincing, they played vertical football, they went through moments of stress and counterattacked in a perfect way. Against this you can only congratulate them.”

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A rejuvenated Dortmund team sit top of the Bundesliga and are yet to taste defeat in any competition. They boast a frightening frontline full of pace and have averaged 3 goals per game in the league so far this season.

The likes of Marco Reus, Jadon Sancho and Paco Alcácer pose an enormous threat to an Atlético team without Diego Godín, Koke, Diego Costa and Thomas Lemar. Those four are among several injured members of the Atleti squad and Simeone has been assessing the situation;

“Los que juegan en la selección es muy complejo porque tienen muchos partidos, no paran nunca y el estrés les lleva aun punto en el que se saturan y vienen las lesiones, no solo en nuestro equipo sino en todos.”

“It’s very complicated for those that play for their countries because they play lots of games, they never stop and at some point the stress [on the muscles] consumes them and they get injured, not only in our team but in others.”


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