Atletico Madrid’s bad season is my fault

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has said he is responsible for the club’s poor start to the season, while also refusing to confirm that future star Joao Felix wants to leave the club.

Atletico – who play against Elche on Thursday – are fifth in LaLiga and crashed out of the Champions League, finishing bottom of their group to miss out on Europa League football.

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That financial blow saw the club allow forward Matheus Cunha to join Lupo, while Atletico CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin said earlier this month that Felix could leave if the right offer arrived.

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“We had four players in the World Cup final [Antoine Griezmann, Rodrigo de Paul, Nahuel Molina and Angel Correa] and three of them played a lot,” Simeone was asked in a news conference on Wednesday about his team’s strategy. “We have a good team. Maybe someone who doesn’t know what a coach is.

“There are good players here. Joao [Felix] It was a sensation at the World Cup. [Yannick] Carrasco and Axel [Witsel] he sets out in Belgium. We have fans. I think they can do better in LaLiga … having a bad level in the middle of the season and it’s not about the names.

“They are the same as last season and similar to those who won leagues… It is the coach more than anything.”

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Atletico went into the World Cup with just one tie in five league games, including draws with Rayo Vallecano and Espanyol and losses to Madrid and Real Mallorca.

At the same time, the administration of Symeon Felicis was questioned, citing Gil Marin’s “necessity between” [Joao] and the boss” as one of the reasons for a possible January transfer, with Premier League clubs Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United all linked.

When asked about working with Felix, Simeone said: “It’s a good relationship. There can always be problems between people, we can’t agree on everything, but I always wanted the best for the club.

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“What concerns me is the team. This is the most important player, if we are able to achieve what we saw in the first games of the World Cup, it will be really important. The talent and the team needs his qualities.”

Simeone also refused to comment on reports that Atletico could be interested in Real Betis forward Borja Iglesias if Felix were to leave.

“You know I’m not talking about the players who are not here at the club,” he said. “I’m going to focus on getting the best out of what we have here.”


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