ATLÉTICO MADRID

Simeone celebrates securing Champions League qualification: "Mission accomplished"

Atlético's pragmatic manager reminded the world that no matter what happens from here on out his team have already achieved what they set out to do.

Simeone celebrates securing Champions League qualification: "Mission accomplished"

Despite closing the gap on Barcelona at the top of the league table yesterday by drawing level on points with the Catalans following a 3-0 home win against Granada, Diego Pablo Simeone is keeping his feet firmly on the ground.

The Atlético Madrid manager seemed more chuffed with having mathematically secured qualification to next season’s Champions League group stage than with the prospect of his team pulling themselves to within spitting distance of the LaLiga summit.

Los Rojiblancos’ three-point harvest at the Calderón on Sunday, coupled with Villarreal’s defeat at Vallecas, means Cholo’s men are now guaranteed a top-three finish and won’t have to cut their summer holidays short in order to get through the qualifying rounds of the European competition.

Even though the only thing keeping the Madrid outfit off first place is Barça’s superior head-to-head record over them, Simeone instead focused his attention on having secured Atleti a place among the 32 teams that will compete to win the 2016/17 Champions League title.