Speaking in an interview with AS, Diego Simeone discussed all things Atlético Madrid ahead of the new season.
On Rodrigo de Paul
“I’m a Racing fan and I saw him when he made his debut, when he played in another position, left winger, left midfielder, in the position he played when he arrived at Valencia. In Italy, he really grew as a player. Tactically he grew a lot, he played inside and had a better relationship with the ball. He has a great shot of the ball. In the central part of the pitch only Herrera and Koke, with Lemar, generate play and we need a player to give us options like De Paul is going to give us.”
“I have a very good relationship with him, outside of sport, as my daughters play with his sons. Beyond everything he gave to Atlético, I want him to do well at Barcelona, he is an extraordinary player. At Barcelona, during regular seasons for him, he has never scored less than twenty goals. These are important numbers and I hope he can keep being the player he has been in the European Championship, in the World Cup, in the five years with us… I don’t want anything other than that he succeeds at Barcelona.”
On Saúl Ñíguez
“Last season he talked to the club about his needs and spoke about the option of having a place on the pitch where he feels more important. And I believe that Saúl became Saúl by playing everywhere. He or many of those around him see it as something negative. He is very important for Atlético because he can play on the wing, on the right wing, in the centre, in a double pivot… He gives us a lot of options to be able to count on him. Without having a season at his best level, we are still counting on him.”