Diego Simeone addressed the media in London ahead of the first leg of the Europa League semi-final between Arsenal and Atlético Madrid.
Costa could play at the Emirates
Atlético will have to be at their best over these two matches…
We want to show that we’re evolving, which is what we’ve shown over this long year. Throughout a season it’s difficult to maintain consistency away from home. It’s a special day, against a strong opponent with a rich history in Europe, and we’re excited to play for a place in the final.
Has Costa come to play or to intimidate the opponent?
Knowing Costa, both descriptions fit perfectly.
Which is more important, to score or to not concede?
The most important thing is to win, it’s absolutely to win.
Arsene Wenger will leave Arsenal at the end of the season…
The first thing that comes in to my head is admiration for a coach, a manager with a great ability to stay for so long. He has had to reinvent himself so many times and for us, and I see myself as a young coach, it’s about observing, watching, learning, and admiring. The best way to define his career is admiration. It’s really difficult to keep going, you’re exposed and they always demand victories and it’s not easy to win.
Have you spoken to Arsenal about the possibility of succeeding Wenger?
I’m really happy at Atlético right now and I haven’t been in contact with people at Arsenal.
Do you want to stay at Atlético Madrid for as long as Wenger has been at Arsenal?
When I started my first year here, I didn’t think I would get to six. The best way to prepare for the future is to improve the present. I don’t think the ‘mister’ [Wenger] thought he would be there for 22 years.
Mesut Özil key for Arsenal
Diego Costa is well-known in England…
In Spain as much as in England he’s made a lot of teams suffer. He’s doing better, he’s going to train today and based on what we see he’ll either start or he’ll wait.
Atlético are the favourites for the competition…
This favourites game is what journalists use. Things change in football and Cup matches demand concentration. Reality starts when the referee starts the game.
How important is Mesut Özil?
He changes things for us as well as them. He manages their transitions as he wants them. If they want the full-backs to move closer, he manages the rhythms in attack so they can advance. He’s one of Arsenal’s trump cards. I like his bravery. They’re a brave team.