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Simeone on why Atlético strikers have to work harder than the rest

L´Equipe have published the second part of the interview with the Argentinian manager in which he explains why he loves playing midfield.

Simeone on why Atlético strikers have to work harder than the rest
Toni RodriguezDiario as

Atlético Madrid coach Diego Pablo Simeone gave a fascinating insight in a three-part interview with L'Équipe. In the latest, he speaks about why Atlético Madrid forwards have to work harder than the rest and what position he would play if he was still lacing up his boots every weekend.

What position would you play if you were to play today?

Midfield, as I did all my life, without doubt. The centre of the field is the best place to play. That zone is the most important for all teams. The central midfielders have to deal with the problems on defense and with the needs of the strikers.

But players usually like to play higher up the field.

That's another thing. It might be better to score than to defend, sure, but considering my past as a player and the way I see football as a manager, without doubt I pick centre midfield because that is where you are faced with the most diverse situations, and also you have the chance to score. Is you play as a forward, you only have to think about scoring, in theory.

And how does an Atlético Madrid striker play?

In a different way to how a striker plays at PSG, Barcelona or Real Madrid. Because with eight chances, the PSG or Barcelona striker score seven and in Atlético they score five or six. So, we have to try harder. The strikers that score seven on eight chances have the luxury of defending a little but less because they are more accurate. At Atlético, or the other teams that I don't consider as strong as PSG, Bayern and Barca, the attackers must work harder to compete. To put it another way, Neymar, Messi, Lewandowski and Ronaldo are more decisive. In those cases, they defend less and defending is less important because they are more accurate in the area. All the others are less efficient and have to work harder.

On Griezmann and his need to grow

I love my players a lot and I love to see them grow. I am not ungrateful. If a player comes to me and says: 'Coach, I have a once in a lifetime chance to play for a certain team, I want to leave'. If he did all he could for me as Griezmann does, I'll say it's no problem. I know that he needs to grow. Of course Griezmann will be able to leave at some point, the same way Costa and Arda Turan were allowed to leave.

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