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Simeone: “What is football? What is to play well? It’s an internal battle”

Cholo admitted Atlético were fortunate during their late comeback win over Valencia.

Atletico Madrid v Valencia - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Atlético Madrid staged an epic comeback on Saturday night after finding themselves two goals down with half an hour to play against Valencia at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Matheus Cunha, Ángel Correa, and Mario Hermoso goals sealed the victory for an under-pressure Diego Simeone.

Simeone was asked about recent criticism and how he felt about the situation Atlético find themselves in. They are the reigning LaLiga champions but find themselves way off the pace in the league and out of the Copa del Rey.

“I’m in a marvellous place,” the longtime Atlético coach said.

“It’s easy to explain what you saw tonight. We weren’t ourselves in the first half. We didn’t do anything we wanted to do. They took two shots and scored two goals. For the second half, with all the anxiety and desperation, we spoke calmly. We said there were different ways to lose, but if we were to lose, we had to lose with bravery.

“We knew the fans wouldn’t let us down.”

Atletico Madrid v Valencia - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

João Félix was replaced after 57 minutes, with the Portuguese clearly disappointed not to finish the game, and Atleti launched the comeback without. Simeone was asked about the change after the game.

“The changes are because of what you feel,” he said. “I felt that what we were looking for was two strikers in the middle and players who could send crosses in with Felipe there to keep us strong at the back. We got some luck, but what I was looking for came through with the changes.

“What is football? What is ‘to play well’? It’s an internal battle,” Simeone continued, when asked about just how much football this team can play. “Football is football and you have to interpret it from where you are. The more players who can interpret that, the closer we are to winning. You can lose, but you have to lose with pride.”