Hitzfeld: Atlético wouldn't be top-four team without Simeone

The former Bayern Munich boss has offered a stark assessment of Diego Simeone's influence on the Germans' Champions League opponents.

Hitzfeld: Atlético wouldn't be top-four team without Simeone

Ex-Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld has declared that Atlético Madrid wouldn't be a Champions League side were it not for boss Diego Simeone.

Bayern visit Atlético in the group stages of Europe's top club competition tonight (20:45 CEST), having lost out to Los Rojiblancos in last season's semi-finals.

Simeone the difference at Atlético

Hitzfeld, who led Bayern to Champions League glory in 2001, told Sport1: "Simeone is the leader and Atletico have done exceptionally under him."

Simeone, seen here in his press conference ahead of tonight's match, has led Atlético to two Champions League finals.

And he added: "Without Simeone, Atlético wouldn't be in the top four in LaLiga."

Bayern face "very tough" assignment

Looking ahead to the sides' clash in Madrid, the 67-year-old said: "Bayern have a very tough match against Atlético. They were beaten by them last year, so they have a score to settle."