Diego Simeone spoke to the press ahead of Atletico Madrid’s Champions League group stage opener against Porto.
The Argentine coach is looking forward to facing former Lazio teammate Sergio Conceicao in the opposing dugout, and highlighted the qualities of the Portuguese club.
“First, we face a friend, [Sergio] Conceicao,” he said.
“We were together for some very good years at Lazio as teammates.”
“He is giving [Porto] an identity both in the Portuguese league and in European competitions.”
“Pressure, aggressiveness, a lot of speed in their game, with very clear positioning in order to gain numerical superiority from where they can cause damage.”
Atletico have not made it past the quarter-final stage in the last three seasons, but Simeone did not want to be drawn into predictions for this campaign.
“I do not think beyond tomorrow’s game,” he stated, in response to whether they could get beyond the last eight.”
“The journey must be made by walking.”
“We know the competition and the difficulties there will be.”
Antoine Griezmann made his return debut for Atletico in the 2-1 win over Espanyol on the weekend, yet he didn’t have the best of performances.
“The other day [against Espanyol] there was a lack of intensity in the play… not only from one player, but from the whole team,” he said.
“We want Griezmann to be the player that he always was, with stature, with talent and with goals, and we are certain to see it.”