Guardiola: "Simeone is a top-level manager and Atleti are the embodiment of his mentality"

The Bayern Munich coach was full of praise for El Cholo on the back of drawing Los Rojiblancos in the semi-final stage of the Champions League.

Pep Guardiola, Bayern Munich coach.

Pep Guardiola was full of admiration for Bayern Munich’s upcoming Champions League semi-final opponents, Atlético Madrid, following today’s draw in Nyon. The two sides are set to meet in the Allianz Arena for the first leg on 27 April. The former Barça boss insisted that he still follows La Liga religiously and is well aware of just how well Los Colchoneros are doing this season.

Spanish sides have been at the pinnacle of the continental game for the last few years. I’ve been keeping a very close eye on La Liga over the past few years and know what Atlético Madrid are capable of. [Simeone] has been in charge of Atleti for five years and is a top-level manager. His team are the embodiment of his mentality. I’ll have a lot to relay to my players. We need 100% concentration for 90 minutes. And then again for another 90 minutes. Our team spirit is very strong and now we have a new objective”, the Bayern coach exclaimed.

On the topic of Atlético’s prowess, Guardiola made the point that, “Over the last decade Barça have been the best team in the world and Atlético have managed to send them crashing out of Europe at the quarter-final twice in the last three years. That tells you how tough they are”.

On Simeone: “We never played on the same team so I don’t know him that well, but he certainly has the ability to instill his players with the confidence they need to play the way he wants them to. Despite losing players like Diego Costa and Falcao, Atlético have continued playing the same style of football. He’s one of the best managers in the world. When they play well, they nearly almost always win, and even when they’re not at their best, they’re still a tough proposition”.

The rise of Atlético: “We’re always talking about Real Madrid and Barça, but Atlético have been on a par with those two clubs over the last few years”.