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Diego Simeone fits Atletico Madrid ‘like a glove’, says Guillem Balague

Diego Simeone fits Atletico Madrid “like a glove” and wants to take them forward in their new stadium, says Guillem Balague.

Simeone led Atletico to a second Champions League final in three years on Wednesday evening, going through on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw with Bayern Munich.

The Argentine manager has been tenuously linked with a move to the Premier League in the past, but Balague reiterates that Atletico is perfect for him, and their move into their new stadium in the summer of 2017 will increase his desire to stay.

Atletico Madrid players celebrate qualifying for the final of the Champions League
Atletico Madrid players celebrate qualifying for the final of the Champions League

“Simeone would be the first one to say that Atletico fits him like a glove” Balague told Sky Sports. “He’s perfect. They understand what he wants, he’s a former legend.

“He wants football that perhaps is not the prettiest – and sometimes he takes things to the limit – but it’s football that suits Atletico – counter-attacking football.

“He plays the card of: ‘We’re not very rich, we have to work hard for each other, it’s all about team values’. They have more money than most but it’s a card Atletico are happy to play.

Atletico will move out of the Vicente Calderon and into their new stadium in the summer of 2017
Atletico will move out of the Vicente Calderon and into their new stadium in the summer of 2017

“Can you take that to another club? We’ll have to see in the future but certainly he wants to take Atletico to the next level and that will be to a new stadium with more financial possibilities.”

Simeone has been widely praised for his work at Atletico since arriving in 2011, winning La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Europa League since.

His side were unfancied at the quarter-final stage against champions Barcelona, and again against Bayern Munich in the last four, and Balague believes Atletico’s style of play is indicative of the faith the players have in their manager.

Simeone says their Champions League final appearance is just reward for Atletico Madrid's hard work over the last four years
Simeone says their Champions League final appearance is just reward for Atletico Madrid’s hard work over the last four years

“It’s the hardest thing in football to have an idea, to believe in it and to convince everyone that that’s the way to go.

“That’s what everyone is doing at Atletico under Simeone. Every player has become a better player. Some of them certainly could play a different style – they could have more of the ball, some would fit in well at Bayern, for example – but they’ve abandoned that to follow the Simeone approach.

“Is it pretty? You can argue about that. Is it effective? You have to say that two Champions League finals in three years is extraordinary.”

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