Champions League

Simeone thanks players' mums

2014-05-01 09:39
Diego Simeone (Gallo Images)

London - Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone thanked his players' mothers for producing such gutsy sons after the La Liga leaders fought back to beat Chelsea 3-1 on Wednesday and secure their place in the Champions League final.

After last week's semi-final, first leg at the Vicente Calderon in Madrid ended 0-0, Atletico fell behind to a strike from former captain Fernando Torres in the 36th minute of the return encounter at Stamford Bridge.

However, they refused to throw in the towel and goals from Adrian, Diego Costa and Arda Turan drove them into the final of Europe's elite club competition for the first time since 1974, setting up a meeting with wealthy city rivals Real Madrid.

"I want to thank the mothers of these players we have at Atletico Madrid because they gave birth to them with balls this big," an emotional Simeone, holding out his hands as if he were grasping an imaginary soccer ball, told a news conference.

"The reaction of the team will stick in people's memories," added the Argentine, who was known as a never-say-die player during his career at Atletico and various clubs in Spain and Italy.

"The players took control of the pitch against a powerful team, with a lot of history in the Champions League, and that make me very pleased.

"We have to be grateful for their effort because without them we could not have experienced what we are."

Real, the record winners with nine continental titles, will be playing their 13th final in Lisbon on May 24, while Atletico have featured only once, a reverse to Bayern Munich forty years ago.

They will become the first two teams from the same city to contest any European final.

"Everyone here in Madrid is happy," Real coach Carlo Ancelotti told Sky Italian after Atletico joined his side in the final.

"Those who have experienced these things know that there are no favourites in a final," added the Italian, in his first season in charge at Real. "It is going to be a very balanced match."

After failing to beat their rivals for more than a decade, Atletico have enjoyed some welcome success in recent meetings with Real, beating them 2-1 after extra time at Real's Santiago Bernabeu stadium to win last season's King's Cup.

They followed that up with a 1-0 victory at Real in La Liga in September before last month's 2-2 draw at the Calderon.

However, Real knocked them out 5-0 on aggregate in the last four of this term's King's Cup.

Simeone warned his players there was little time to celebrate the victory over Chelsea as they needed to recover for Sunday's La Liga match at Levante.

Atletico remain on course for a double of Champions League and Spanish league titles and are four points clear of second-placed Barcelona, where they play on the final day of the season, with three games left.

Real, who beat Barca to win the King's Cup last month and can still claim a rare treble, are two points behind Barca in third with a game in hand.

"Tomorrow we have to focus on the Levante game which is very important and not on any other goal," Simeone said.



Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

25 November 2015
Shakhtar Donetsk v Real Madrid, Arena Lviv 21:45
Borussia Monchengladbach v Sevilla, Borussia-Park 21:45
Juventus v Manchester City, Juventus Stadium 21:45
Manchester United v PSV, Old Trafford 21:45
Malmo FF v Paris Saint-Germain, Swedbank Stadion 21:45
Atletico de Madrid v Galatasaray, Vicente Calderon 21:45
08 December 2015
Benfica v Atletico de Madrid, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Borussia Monchengladbach, Etihad Stadium 21:45
Paris Saint-Germain v Shakhtar Donetsk, Parc des Princes 21:45
PSV v CSKA Moscow, Philips Stadion 21:45
Sevilla v Juventus, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Real Madrid v Malmo FF, Santiago Bernabeu 21:45
Galatasaray v FC Astana, Turk Telekom Arena 21:45
VfL Wolfsburg v Manchester United, Volkswagen Arena 21:45
09 December 2015
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Barcelona, BayArena 21:45
Olympiakos v Arsenal, Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium 21:45
KAA Gent v Zenit St Petersburg, Ghelamco Arena 21:45
Dynamo Kyiv v Maccabi Tel Aviv, Kiev Olympic Stadium 21:45
Dinamo Zagreb v FC Bayern Munchen, Maksimir 21:45
Valencia CF v Lyon, Mestalla 21:45
Roma v BATE Borisov, Olimpico 21:45
Chelsea v FC Porto, Stamford Bridge 21:45
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS

Who will be the 2015/16 Champions League top scorer?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


30 of the world's greatest golfers will be heading to the Gary Player Country Club for this year's Nedbank Golf Challenge - now in its 35th year. For all the latest news, player profiles, hole-by-hole descriptions and past winners, be sure to check out Sport24's dedicated section.

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.