The Champions League and the 'El Clasico' against Real Madrid beckon, but Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone...
The Champions League and the ‘El Clasico’ against Real Madrid beckon, but Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone gave short shrift to all questions and said he was focused only on the battle for third spot in La Liga.
In a repeat of last season’s Champions League final, which Real Madrid won 4-1 after extra time, Atletico Madrid were drawn on Friday to play their city rivals in the quarter-finals of Europe’s elite club competition.
However, Diego Simeone said the only thing that had his immediate attention was another Madrid derby, Saturday’s La Liga game at home to Getafe, and he refused to answer questions about Sunday’s ‘Clasico’ between leaders Barcelona and second-placed Real at the Nou Camp.
Atletico Madrid surrendered third place in Spain’s top flight to Valencia last weekend after a 0-0 draw at Espanyol and are a point behind them ahead of Valencia’s game at Elche later on Friday.
“All I want is to beat Getafe, that’s what we need right now,” Diego Simeone told a news conference.
“What the rest do sincerely does not interest me much,” the Argentine added.
Simeone may not have been all that disappointed to be paired with Real in the Champions League last eight as his team have very much had the upper hand over the world’s richest club by income over the past year.
Atletico thrashed Real 4-0 at the Calderon in La Liga last month, their biggest win over their neighbours in any competition since 1987, and the only time Real beat them in their last eight meetings was the Champions League final.
“In reality, I am thinking more about Getafe,” Simeone said, whose side also have games against Cordoba, Real Sociedad and Malaga before their host Real for the first leg on April 14.
“There are three weeks left, almost a month, and there will be plenty of time for you to have fun talking about a game of such magnitude,” he added.
“But right now our life is La Liga. To keep battling so we are able to stay in the fight with Valencia and (fifth-placed) Sevilla. We have to be clear that our most important game right now is the Getafe one.”