Atlético de Madrid CEO spoke about El Cholo, the Champions League and the Ballon d'Or in an interview for Cuban daily Juventud Rebelde.
Atlético de Madrid CEO Miguel Ángel Gil Marín was interview by daily Juventud Rebelde during his recent trip to Cuba. Among the topics discussed was the Champions League - which he insists is not an obsession for the Rojiblancos, the Ballon d'Or and his hopes to revise and extend Diego Pablo Simeone's contract.
Atlético, players on the world stage
Atlético de Madrid's unstoppable march: "We've grown as a club all because of hard work. When there is stability it's easier to develop a brand and Atlético has been steadily growing year-on-year for some time now. Since 2009, the club has won 11 trophies, we have expanded on a social level with 125,000 club members, we are close to reaching 30 million followers on social media; and as for infrastructure, we have inaugurated one of the best football stadiums in Europe, which will be staging next year's Champions League final".
Two years left on El Cholo's contract
Signing Simeone: "That was me. In fact, during the past 20 years, I have hired 99.9 per cent of the employees at the club and Diego is one of them. It was a blessing for both of us. Let's hope we continue together for many more years".
Renewing Simeone's contract: "In football, it's hard to establish long-term projects on a sporting level but you can do it on an organizational level. In Diego's case, he has this season and next to run, and obviously the perfect outcome for everyone would be for him to extend his relationship with us".
Not being obsessed by winning the Champions League: "It's not an obsession. Of course it's a challenge and it would be wonderful if we were to win it but it's not a necessity, just a wish, because it wouldn't be a disaster not to win it this year".
Ballon d'Or: "Without any doubts, this year it will go to Antoine Griezmann".
Not watching matches live: "I watch all of our games on TV the day after. In some ways it helps me to evaluate the work the coach is doing and the work of the players and the sports director because I'm able to do it with a clear head and without the nerves I'd suffer if I had watched the game live. Like any Atleti fan, I suffer too. I've been an atlético since I was two years old and that means I'm more concerned about how the team's playing".