Although Atletico Madrid’s humiliating elimination from the Champions League group stage last week, manager Diego Simeone has no plans to leave the team.
On a strange night in Madrid, Los Rojiblancos were eliminated from the competition in the first round for the first time since 2018 and for the second time in ten years after drawing 2-2 with Bayer Leverkusen at home.
With third place in Group B still up for grabs, they are not sure of a place in the Europa League either. All this has led to questions over whether Simeone’s time at the Civitas Metropolitano is coming to an end.
Simeone on his future: This doesn’t end today
In the La Liga championship race, Atletico already appears to be well behind rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona. In addition, their most recent 2-2 tie with Bayer Leverkusen caused their exit from the UEFA Champions League group stage.
A query over Simeone’s future was put to the Argentine coach during the pre-game news conference before Atletico Madrid’s La Liga matchup against Cadiz.
Simeone replied (via MARCA): “I don’t think about anything besides what’s coming up. A famous Spanish writer once stated, ‘I don’t care what others think of me.’ I concur. This continues beyond today.”
Diego Simeone: “I don't care on what they think of me. I know what I give — and this doesn't end today”. ⚪️? #Atleti
“João Felix? I’ve nothing to say on his private life, for sure not here. We’ve to keep working hard”. pic.twitter.com/QDuyryymuu
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) October 28, 2022
The Atletico Madrid manager was also quizzed about the clip of Joao Felix partying after the team’s elimination from the Champions League this week, to which he replied:
“No need to comment on his personal life. I would have said it to him if I had anything to say. I’m not referring to any specific person; these are internal issues. We must continue to improve since we have a group of five excellent attacking players who can all play.”
Simeone remarked, in response to the possibility of having to sell off superstars to achieve economic balance, “We have remade ourselves many times. No one is untouchable. When the 2014 League concluded, I recall that many players went. The squad changed itself, and now no one is untouchable.”
Reports: Simeone facing internal criticism at Atletico Madrid following UCL exit
Given how long Diego Simeone has been with Atletico Madrid, it isn’t easy to imagine one without the other. The Argentinean manager has led the Spanish team to unheard-of heights throughout his 11 years at the club and transformed them into a premier European club.
Atletico Madrid’s 2022–23 campaign hasn’t been up to mark thus far by any measure. On the La Liga standings, the squad is five points behind Barcelona and eight points behind league-leader Real Madrid.
In addition, if they lose to Porto in their upcoming European match, they will potentially lose out on the Europa League.
Atlético Madrid have failed to qualify for the #UCL knockout stages for just the second time under Diego Simeone:
But they went on to win the #UEL the last time it happened. ?
— William Hill (@WilliamHill) October 26, 2022
Pedro Fullana claims that the inner circle at Atletico Madrid criticises Diego Simeone’s leadership more frequently. The head coach’s administration of the team and its performance are two components of the head coach’s philosophy that worry the board.
Another reason the club can question El Cholo’s tactics is the complete marginalisation of Joao Felix, in whom the club made significant investments.
Simeone seemed unconcerned despite the increased attention. However, as the Colchoneros begin their Copa Del Rey campaign and face relatively easy La Liga opponents. The upcoming weeks will be vital in determining the outcome of the Colchoneros’ season.