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Simeone: "Pessimism? I see optimism and hope"

Atlético Madrid's coach Diego Simeone affirmed that Diego Costa is fit to play against Liverpool, who he described as "a team who will go down in history".

Simeone: "Pessimism? I see optimism and hope"

Atlético Madrid's coach Diego Simeone affirmed that Diego Costa, who hasn't played competitively since November, is fit to play against Liverpool in tomorrow night's Last 16 first leg. As for the visitors, Jürgen Klopp's high-flying Liverpool, he described them as "a team who will go down in history".

How's Diego Costa?

He's getting better. He's improving, and he's been training with enthusiasm; he's one of the 19 players who will be staying at the hotel so he will have a chance of playing tomorrow's game.

Have you been thinking about this game since the draw was made?

We know each other well. We've been taking one game at a time and trying to find solutions to the obstacles that lie ahead. We started worrying about this game once the Valencia match had finished. We will be up against a wonderful team, a team who have been trained well by a coach who is different to the rest; a team who can chop and chance their style and haven't stopped growing during the time Klopp has been at the club. In spite of losing Coutinho, which looked like it might break up the team, the opposite has happened, they've got even stronger.

Simeone, admiration for Klopp's Liverpool

Do you see any similarities between yourself and Klopp?

In a few little things, yes, possibly. In terms of intensity I remember his Borussia Dormtund side who were quite similar to Liverpool, who have that same competitiveness. Maybe our characters are reflected in the teams we coach. This Liverpool will go down in history because they are posting numbers that are way beyond everyone else - all of the other clubs who admire them. They are more intense, direct, constantly changing and I only have great admiration for them as a rival.

What have the fans been saying to you?

What they always say. It's a tie over two legs and with two games to play, we have a 50% chance. In one game anything is possible.

A game with few chances?

People are free to think whatever they like. What matters are deeds, not thoughts. Words only serve as a prelude but once the ball is in play, it's a football match and anything can happen.

Atlético's pessimism, a factor for or against?

I don't see any pessimism. I see optimism, emotion. The stadium is going to go crazy, the players cannot wait for the game and all I can see is what I like most of all, hope and optimism.


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