Diego Simeone did not wish to comment on the histrionics of Manchester City on Wednesday after his side drew with the English champions but exited Europe’s top competition after two legs.
Atlético Madrid’s boss spoke defiantly after his side put in a combative and proud performance against one of world’s best teams.
“I don’t have to give an opinion about whether someone spoke well or not of us. A lot of times, those with big vocabularies speak intelligently, and they talk you up while disrespecting you. But we’re not so stupid, those of us with less eloquence,” Simeone said after the game when asked about criticism of his side following the quarterfinal first leg.
Pep Guardiola insisted that he did not criticize Simeone or his style but said it was hard to play against them after the first leg.
The former FC Barcelona manager said his side were “in big, big trouble” in the second half after Atlético forced them to forget how to play.
“I’m pissed off,” Simeone said when asked how he felt following an explosive second half that saw nine yellow cards after the 80th minute, including a second yellow for Felipe and a booking for Cholo himself on the touchline. “Pissed off because we’re out of the competition. You always want to win. It doesn’t matter how, but you always celebrate a win.
“It was difficult, we put the brakes on a team that scores more than two goals a game.”
Cholo faced criticism for his approach to the first leg, a game that saw Kevin de Bruyne strike in the second half to give Manchester City the valuable 1-0 lead heading back to Madrid. Atlético didn’t manage a single shot on or off target in the game. The first half at the Wanda Metropolitano was scoreless too before cracks started to appear in the visitors’ gameplan.
“I have priorities in my life,” Simeone said when asked about the criticism. “The first is to win. After that, it is being proud of what we have done. We have an extraordinary fan-base. Pushing the team on and replying to what the team show us.
“I feel proud because this is Atlético. Competing. We have our way of doing this, sometimes good, bad or ways that people don’t like. But competing.”
Simeone has now played Guardiola five times with three different clubs — Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Man City. Cholo has won once, lost three times and drawn once in those encounters.