Diego Simeone tells Real Madrid and Barcelona ‘they know not to make mistakes’ as Atletico prepare to defend the LaLiga title… while also appearing to stop talking about Antoine Griezmann’s return, saying: ‘ I hope he’s great’ Nou Camp
- Atletico Madrid beat Real Madrid and Barcelona to the LaLiga title last season
- He has warned their rivals that ‘they know not to make mistakes’ in the race
- Simeone also seemed to pour cold water on the return of Antoine Griezmann
- The Frenchman had been linked with Atlético as part of the deal with Saul Niguez
Diego Simeone has told Barcelona and Real Madrid that ‘they know not to make mistakes’ as his Atletico Madrid side prepare to defend their LaLiga crown against Spain’s two big clubs next season.
Atletico took advantage of their rivals’ poor domestic campaigns to take their first title in seven years – and 11th overall – by finishing two points ahead of city rivals Real last season.
Simeone’s side are well placed to defend their crown with another massive summer of turmoil at the Nou Camp and Carlo Ancelotti fresh off taking the reins at Real following the departure of Zinedine Zidane.
Diego Simeone has told Barcelona and Real Madrid ‘they know not to make mistakes’
Atletico took advantage of their rivals’ poor domestic campaigns to take this year’s LaLiga title
The Argentine rejected claims that Atletico like to play the victim when comparing the rosters of Spain’s big clubs, but warned their title rivals that they will once again take advantage of any missteps next season.
“People always think I’m claiming victimhood, but it’s true that Real Madrid and Barcelona have almost always been superior. It’s the squads, all the years they competed,’ he said in an interview with Marca.
“But that doesn’t mean you get better in any given year. It happened in 2014, when we were better. It happened in 2021. We’ve been better, but that doesn’t mean we’re better.
“Real Madrid and Barcelona know they can’t make mistakes. We know our place and we want to improve, but that’s not victimization. Everyone interprets it the way they want.
“The reality is that Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, PSG, Manchester City, Bayern… They are historic clubs, but that’s not why they will always win.”
Atletico have already spent £31m on signing Rodrigo de Paul from Udinese and are expected to bring in more new faces before the LaLiga season starts next month.
Simeone’s side are well placed to defend their crown when the season kicks off next month
Simeone seemed to shut down any chance to bring Antoine Griezmann back to the club
One of those linked with a move is Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann, who has been cited as a possible counterweight in the deal to bring Saul Niguez to the Camp Nou.
Sportsmail reported last week that the two clubs were in advanced talks over the summer’s swap deal, but the odds of making it now seem slim as the Frenchman would have to face a pay cut.
When asked about Griezmann’s possible return to Atletico – where he played between 2014 and 2019 – Simeone seemed to close any chance of getting him back.
The Argentinian added: “I have a very good relationship with Antoine. My family is close to him and we see each other occasionally.
“I want the best for him and I hope he is great at Barcelona.
‘That is a special club and Antoine is the complete player.
“In Euro 2020 he showed again that he can give a lot wherever they played him.”