Simeone & Witsel pre-Champions League press conference: Inter are the best team in Europe right now

Needing a comeback to advance in the Champions League against Inter, Diego Simeone and Axel Witsel were full of praise for Serie A leaders Inter in their pre-match press duties on Tuesday.


ESTADIO CIVITAS METROPOLITANO (Madrid)Diego Simeone appeared reluctant to share too many thoughts ahead of his Atletico Madrid side’s Champions League last-16 second leg against Inter, stressing that he wants to “let the facts speak for themselves” against what he believes to be “the best team in Europe at the moment”.

The Colchoneros boss took part in the traditional Matchday-1 press conference at the Estadio Civitas Metropolitano alongside player Axel Witsel, saying that he feels confident about his side’s chances to overturn the 1-0 deficit after their narrow loss at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.

“We lost 1-0, which is not a big deficit but it is still a significant one against the best team in Europe at the moment,” Simeone said.

“Do I have reasons to believe in a comeback? There’s not much to say, we don’t need words but we have to let the facts speak for themselves. I have full confidence in my players and my team, and I’m sure we’ll play a great game tomorrow.”

Axel Witsel followed along the same lines as his coach, saying that Atletico will need to “play a smart game, with a lot of intensity from the first to the very last minute”.

Atletico Madrid’s Axel Witsel in a Champions League press conference. (@Atleti)

Inter are a very strong team in every area of the pitch, it won’t be any easy,” Witsel said.

“They are intense and aggressive, and if we manage to match them in these aspects, we’ll have a chance.”

A sell-out crowd is expected on Wednesday, with more than 70,000 fans – a record-breaking figure for Atletico this season – set to turn out ready to push the hosts towards the quarter-finals. Naturally, that could play into the Rojiblancos’ favour, with Witsel reinforcing “it [the atmosphere] has already inspired us to play some great games”.

Simeone joined in with Witsel in issuing a battle cry to the Atleti fans, stating: “Our focus will have to be sky-high and I think that will be more important than the tactical aspect of the game.”

Antoine Griezmann will be coming back from injury after missing Atletico Madrid‘s last four games, giving a much-needed boost to the scoring prowess of a side that has failed to find the net in five of their last eight matches.

Griezmann‘s return will give us more solutions and I hope he’ll have the game he wants to play,” Simeone added.


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