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Simeone: Madrid's individual superiority means nothing

14 April, 2015 5:21 PM
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Diego Simeone has admitted that Real Madrid have more individual brilliance in their team than Atletico, but insists his team still come together to create a strong unit.

The Rojiblancos are famous for their defensive unity and counterattacking style, while their city rivals are considered to rely more on the quality of the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema.

Heading into the Champions League quarter-final first leg between the two sides, Simeone admits that the technical superiority of Carlo Ancelotti's squad is much greater than his team, but does not believe that gives them an advantage.

"It is true that in several places in the field they have more individual talent than we have, but I think in knock-out competition, that is neutralised" he told reporters. "My players have different characteristics, different styles and each has something that makes the team better.

"Real Madrid's players are extraordinary. I have great respect for their technical quality and the ability of their football. Luka Modric's return will boost a team that already has great potential. The presence of Modric gives them new aggression and that will generate more presence in midfield. Something decisive.

"We find a great rival in a great form in the league and walking strong in the Champions League."

Atletico are unbeaten in six games against Madrid, with their previous defeat coming in the Champions League final last year, in which Los Blancos won 4-1 after extra time.

However, the Argentine, who also revealed that Mario Mandzukic and Jan Oblak are fit and will feature on Tuesday, does not believe that defeat or the meetings between the two sides this term will have any effect on the match at the Vicente Calderon.

"I'm not looking back at previous games, because I understand that it will be a new different game - it's a quarter-final, which is not the same as a Champions League final.

Ancelotti admitted that his side are doing extra work on set pieces ahead of the tie, and Simeone says he sees such situations as a great opportunity for a team to take the initiative.

"Situations that change matches appear from precise moves. Dead ball situations, an error in the defensive coordination, these are parts of the game and where anything can happen," he explained.

The Madrid boss was also full of praise for Simeone, who was quick to return the kind words.

"I have great admiration for him. He is someone who does not change his style because of defeat or victory. That puts him on a different level from other coaches. He has enormous experience, has handled all of his teams well and they all speak highly of him."


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