“I respect him very much” – Simeone has sympathy for Barca boss Koeman

By Obiajulu Chiagoziem

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has said that he holds a lot of respect for Barcelona manager, Ronald Koeman and sympathises with him over the club’s present condition as his side host them this weekend.

Atletico Madrid lost their last league match against Deportivo Alaves and are aiming to avoid suffering consecutive defeats.

As it seems presently, Koeman’s managerial job is at stake as speculations that he’ll be relieved of his duties is gradually gaining grounds in the club as the club’s executives are keen on getting his replacement to remedy the club’s present situation.

“He will surely be in an uncomfortable situation and, on our side, I imagine that all of his colleagues respect him as a coach and he will surely always do well,” Simeone told reporters at Friday’s pre-match news conference.

“I am not the one to value anything. I respect Koeman very much, he has shown personality and I wish him the best. As for the transition, we are very busy with ourselves and we do not worry about what happens on another team.

“We think about the value of the rival players, Barcelona has great footballers, a very good coach with a lot of personality and we focus on doing well ourselves, improving ourselves.”

Koeman will be absent as his side meets with the Atletico Madrid side today, following his sent off during Cadiz encounter. Luis Suarez will be playing against his former club, same as Antoine Griezmann.

“I see him [Suarez] as always, since he arrived here, with the same hunger, enthusiasm and we try to empower him that the best thing he has is the goal,” Simeone said.

“We always put him [Griezmann] where he normally plays. Footballers always have a privileged place, I like to play here.

“The important thing is where the team needs it and Antoine I have no doubt that where we put him, the other day as a midfielder, I am sure he can help us wherever we put him.” he concluded.