Atlético Madrid secured a berth in the Europa League last 16 on Thursday night with a 1-0 win over FC Copenhagen. Kévin Gameiro’s seventh-minute golazo bumped Atlético’s final aggregate scoreline to 5-1 against the Danish champions, and Atleti will now wait to see who they draw in the next round of the Europa League. There are some tasty matchups there, matchups which could see any of RB Leipzig, CSKA Moscow or final hosts Lyon visit A Stadium Called Wanda.
Before all that, though, Simeone, Gameiro and Vitolo shared their thoughts on the freshly-completed Round of 32 game.
On pre-match controversy surrounding his remarks on Fernando Torres’ future:
“What I have [always] made clear is that I want the best for the club and the squad. Fernando has always wanted the same thing.”
On Yannick Carrasco’s potential move to Wanda-owned Dalian Yifang:
“Carrasco’s exit would be important. He’s young with a great future and he’s important to our team. These are decisions for the players and we’ll see if it’s resolved or not.”
On Nico Gaitán’s first appearance since Nov. 29:
“Today, we gave him 30 minutes and he already began to show [his] speed and great vision.
“This is football and hopefully Nico grows and gives us [minutes] in important situations over these next few months.”
On the match:
“We played well and we controlled the ball well. We played our game and the most important thing is progression [to the last 16].
On his recent form:
“I am good [mentally], physically too. When you score goals, you get more confidence and you can do more things.
“I haven’t scored too many goals with my left. It’s good for the team and for me.”
On qualifying for the Europa League last 16:
“The most important thing is that the team has taken the tie seriously. We respected the opponent and took them very seriously. We won the match [Thursday] too, which was also important.”
On his playing time under Simeone:
“Every time the mister gives me a chance, I really want to play an important role and do great things.”