Simeone: Give me Madrid or Barcelona everyday!

Diego Pablo Simeone has built an Atl├®tico side that fits his own image in order to get the team to where it is today. The magic formula consists of belief, character and a lot of hard work.

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Question: This league seemed destined for either the Neymar-Messi or Bale-Cristiano partnership, but it seems the pairing of Koke-Diego Costa is having the most success.

Answer:┬áIt’s their moment, but not just theirs. You only have to look at our victory at the Bernab├®u against Real Madrid and at the Dragao against Porto, which is extremely difficult. It’s difficult to compete with the two strong teams like we’re doing. The only way to do it is not to lose sight of our reality and what we are. When we lose this, we’ll have a bad time.

Q:┬áHow much conviction do you need to win at the Santiago Bernab├®u after such a long wait?

A:┬áThere’s more to it than conviction. It’s progression. We lost 4-1 to Real Madrid the first time, but in terms of the game, we were closer to winning than on other occasions. We lost 2-1 in the first game against Barcelona, after a piece of brilliance by Messi. Last season we were well beaten at the Bernab├®u, because we didn’t play well and we lost at the Camp Nou after a fine first-half display. We gradually got closer and closer as the games went by.

If you ask me, I would play friendlies against them every day. In the summer, in pre-season, every day, because the more you play them, the more chance you feel you have of winning. If you don’t play them it seems impossible.