Diego Simeone compares Atletico Madrid to Chelsea ahead of the UCL clash with Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola

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Coach Diego Simeone has indirectly compared his team, Atletico Madrid to reigning UEFA Champions League champions, Chelsea, ahead of his team’s clash with Manchester City.

The 51-year-old Argentine coach said Manchester City and Bayern Munich are the only two clubs that have the kind of players that could win this season’s UEFA Champions League campaign.

He however used the 2020-2021 season in which Chelsea beat Manchester City in the final of the Champions League despite being the underdogs in the tournament, as an example of what his team could do this season.

Since Chelsea could beat Manchester City in the final with all the caliber of football stars the reigning Premier League champions had and the fact that the stars were being coached by Pep Guardiola, Coach Diego Simeone believes his team could achieve the same feat starting from tonight.

Tonight, April 5, 2022, Atletico Madrid will be guests of Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. The first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final game is expected to kick off at 20:00.

The game is coming three weeks after Atletico Madrid knocked out Manchester United from the Champions League campaign in the round of 16 stage of the tournament.

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Recall that after a draw in Spain, Diego Simeone led Atletico Madrid to Old Trafford and they stunned Manchester United 1-0 to end the club’s dream of progressing further in the tournament.

Before the round of 16 stage, Simeone met Liverpool in the group stage and Jurgen Klopp led his boys to defeat Atletico Madrid home and away.

Later tonight, Simeone is expected to repeat Atletico Madrid’s performance in the round of 16 stage of the competition against Manchester City. But the Argentine coach had noted that the game against City would not be like that of United.

Diego Simeone might not shake Pep Guardiola's hand tonight
Coach Diego Simeone of Atletico Madrid.

Simeone who has been in charge of Atletico Madrid since 2011 noted Manchester City’s game is faster and they attack with more men than Manchester United.

Diego Simeone said: “United have different characteristics than City, who are a lot more direct and quicker. In all areas of the pitch, they manage things well and I think we will have to be quicker and more direct in the things we need to do than we were three weeks ago.

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“We are playing against really tough opponents, who press high and flood the box with players. We’re going to use our characteristics, the way we have played for years, and play where we think we can hurt them. City have extraordinary players. I’m sure they have better players than us.

“City and Bayern Munich are the favorites, because of the characteristic of their players. But last season Chelsea won the Champions League and not many people expected that.”

Diego Simeone might not shake Pep Guardiola’s hand tonight

Diego Simeone might not shake Pep Guardiola's hand tonight
File photo of coach Pep Guardiola and coach Diego Simeone.

When Pep Guardiola was coaching FC Barcelona between 2008 and 2012, he had the course to face Diego Simeone, especially between 2011 and 2012 after Simeone had joined Atletico Madrid. During that era, they both maintained a cordial relationship.

But it has been over six years since Guardiola faced Simeone which means that Guardiola should expect anything from the Argentine coach.

The fact that Simeone has consistently refused to shake hands with Premier League coaches in recent times means that the tendency of doing the same to Guardiola tonight is very high.

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Recall that when Simeone faced Jurgen Klopp in the group stage, he refused to shake hands with the German coach. Simeone ran straight to the tunnel after the first leg of the tie in Madrid.

The 51-year-old Argentine coach gave coach Ralf Rangnick the same treatment after Manchester United draw with Atletico Madrid in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 clash in Madrid over a month weeks ago.

Though coach Diego Simeone has admitted that he does not like to shake hands with his opponents after a game, football enthusiasts would want to see how the Argentine coach would treat Guardiola after tonight’s game.

“I never shake hands after a match, because I don’t like it,” Simeone said. “It isn’t healthy for either the one who wins or the one who loses. I always go without shaking hands at the end of the game.”

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