Diego Pablo Simeon he is not used to getting into dialectical combat with colleagues and rivals. Outside the field, he tends rather to diplomacy. But today, at the press conference prior to the momentous duel against Barcelona, in his own way, with irony, with words that leave much to interpret, he went down into the mud and attacked
Xavi Hernandez. He recalled an old phrase from today’s Barça coach in which he said that the way he plays Athletic del Cholo cannot do it with a big team and he threw a few darts at him.
It was not an explicit question about Xavi, it was rather about the unknown that Barcelona represented and its new winter additions, but Simeone took advantage of it to settle pending accounts.
«Back in 2016, in Universo Valdano, I remember a note from Xavi in which he said that Atlético’s football was not for the style of big teams. Now he is going to have the possibility, with the arrival of these players from the top, to be able to display everything he is looking for, what he wants, what he imagines and what he grew from all his cradle in Barcelona.And we, from our game, will take the game to where we think we can hurt it.”
From there, some questions have already focused on Xavi. Do you understand that colleagues are critical of your style or is it disrespectful? More encrypted darts: «No, no, when you only lived with one situation in your life, you don’t understand other situations. And when he was able to turn around and have different situations in his life, he understands that not everything is one thing. What he thinks is very respectable, because he has the ability to have lived in his time as a player with great footballers and coaches, with enormous successes, and now to try to prove it within the coach that he is, who will surely be very good.
Doesn’t Xavi seem like a good coach to you? “I like how Barcelona plays. He has imposed the philosophy that he has lived his whole life. And he has imposed that path. And now, I repeat, with the additions he has had, he will have eight players for three positions. It is not easy, but he has many tools to continue maintaining the style of Barcelona, the style of a lifetime.
And to finish, Simeone once again challenged the footballer who is most demanded by the public, but for whom he shows less confidence, Joao Félix: «This is very clear, Joao is going to play. It is a great time for words to be deeds. And tomorrow he will have the chance to prove it.”