Uefa Super Cup 2012: Atletico’s Diego Simeone not fazed by Chelsea threat
Chelsea v Atletico Madrid: Diego Simeone insists his side will not be fazed by the Blues' favourites tag in the Super Cup on Friday
Diego Simeone insists Atletico Madrid will not be fazed when his side line up against “favourites” Chelsea in Friday’s European Super Cup.
Atletico face the Blues in the Monaco showpiece after the La Liga outfit secured Europa League glory over Athletic Bilbao in the Europa League final back in May.
Simeone, who succeeded Gregorio Manzano at the Vicente Calderon in December 2011, admitted last season’s Champions League winners are the bigger club in terms of financial mite and recent success.
But the Argentine does not believe Chelsea’s superiority automatically transfers to the pitch, with the Atletico manager demanding a committed performance from his players.
“We won’t lie to people – Chelsea are the favourites,” said Simeone.
“They have an enormous budget, and in sporting terms, they won the Champions League.
“On paper they have better opportunities than we do. We want to be competitive and we want to show when it comes to a one-off match, it comes down to who plays better.”
He added: “I believe when there is a favourite it is because one is better than the other – I’d prefer to be the favourite because you have some assets the other doesn’t – that is clear.
“But the game is what counts. What counts is what is on the pitch on Friday – sweat, heart, tears – things which go beyond what is on paper.”
Fernando Torres, who was made Atletico’s youngest-ever captain aged 19 and scored 84 goals before moving to Liverpool in 2007, is set for an emotional reunion with his former club.
However, Simeone was keen to talk about club’s current talisman Radamel Falcao, and the Atletico manager is confident the Colombian forward can become one of the best strikers in the world if he continues to improve.
“Well I’m not going to make comparisons or talk about Fernando Torres’ feelings in respect of playing this game and the feelings for him,” said Simeone.
“I’ll talk about my team and we have an excellent squad.
“Falcao is an extraordinary member of that squad. I’ve seen him as a kid and growing up, and I’m convinced if he continues to maintain his growth there will be no limits for him.”