Champions League final will be ‘pure football’: Atletico coach

Madrid, May 22 (IANS) Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has said fans will witness only “pure football” in the Champions League final against cross-town rivals Real Madrid.

Simeone spoke to the press as Atletico Madrid held their “open doors” session for journalists on Saturday, a week ahead of their Champions League final on May 28.

The game is a repeat of the 2014 final, which Atletico lost 4-1 after extra-time following Sergio Ramos’ injury time equaliser for Real Madrid, and Simeone is expecting another tense and dramatic affair, reports Xinhua.

“It will be pure football,” he said, delighted the game will be played in the San Siro Stadium in Milan.

“I lived there when I played for Inter Milan and it is a spectacular ground. It is tight and the fans are able to pressure and you hear a lot of noise,” he said.

The Atletico coach said he wasn’t expecting Real Madrid to differ much from the side which defeated Manchester City in the semi-finals with “Casimiro as a defensive midfielder and playing on the break.”

“We won’t change our style, we will pressure them as high up the pitch as they let us and play an intense game,” promised Simeone.

Simeone also congratulated Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane on the work he has done since replacing Rafael Benitez at the start of the year, saying it was “important” to reach a Champions League final, which he considered to be “50-50” between the two clubs.

Apart from insisting Atletico would play their usual intense football, Simeone didn’t give away too many secrets of the team he expects to start with the Milan on May 28.

He did, however, praise Augusto Fernandez and Yannick Carrasco, highlighting their pace and adding that Carrasco would be “very important in the final…Whether he plays 90, 60 or 30 minutes, he will provide quality,” said the Atletico coach.



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