Simeone: ‘Nice to See Lazio in the Champions League Again’

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone reflected on his ‘extraordinary years’ at Lazio ahead of their Champions League clash.

The Argentine spent four years of his playing career in the Italian capital from 1999 to 2003, helping the side win the Scudetto, the Coppa Italia, the Supercoppa Italiana and the UEFA Super Cup.

Lazio and Atletico have both struggled to show their best in the early stages of the new season and both will be desperate to get off to a strong start in Group E, which also contains Feyenoord and Celtic.

Speaking in a press conference (via TMW), Simeone first discussed where Atletico goes next after their frustrating 3-0 loss to Valencia on the weekend.

It was a difficult defeat. We started well, but we didn’t know how to react. I have confidence in the team. Now we have the Champions League, we have to think about this competition.

The Argentine coach then spoke about Maurizio Sarri and Lazio’s slow start to the 2023-24 season.

I’ve always liked Sarri’s game, I’ve always followed him. I also took inspiration from him to improve my team. Lazio defend well, they look for numerical superiority and have dangerous players.

They’re a team that know what they want, we’ll try to hurt them. They lost to Juventus, but their true face is the one from the win in Napoli. We both started the season negatively, but it’s how you finish that matters, not how you start.

The Atletico coach commented on his return to the Stadio Olimpico, two decades after he left as a player.

Goosebumps. Everything brings me back to some extraordinary years of my football career. A fan base that has always loved me from day one.

We won a lot in a beautiful period. I have great memories, I’m sure we’ll see each other on the pitch tomorrow. I thank the fans for all the affection I’ve always received.

He spoke about his relationship with the Lazio fans and what reception he expects.

In life one has to give without waiting. What the other does is welcome, if they do it. The affection that exists between us goes beyond applause tomorrow on the pitch.

Finally, Simeone looked back at his four-year spell with Lazio and his impact on the Scudetto win.

We had a great team. With that header of mine (against Juventus in 2000, ed.) I reopened the title race, something never ends if you want it.

We wanted that Scudetto and we managed to win it. Hopefully tomorrow there will be a lot of fans, it’s nice to see Lazio in the Champions League again.

Tags Atletico Atletico Madrid atletico vs lazio Biancocelesti Diego Simeone Italy Lazio lazio vs atletico Rome Serie A Simeone