Simeone is a god, says Tiago

The midfielder heaped praise upon the Argentine coach while Gabi says the Spanish champions want to make it a double in honour of Luis Aragones

Diego Simeone is “like a god” to everyone at Atletico Madrid, according to midfielder Tiago, who added that the players would “jump from a bridge” for their coach.

This season, the Argentine has guided his team to a first Spanish title in 18 years and they could win the Champions League for the first time in their history on Saturday when they meet city rivals Real in Lisbon.

The former Juventus and Chelsea midfielder has hailed the influence of his coach, insisting the players would do anything for him.

“For us, for everyone at the club, [Simeone] is like a god,” the 33-year-old told Uefa’s official website. “He arrived at the club, changed everything and what he says comes true. 

We follow him; if he asked us to jump from a bridge, we’d jump. We follow him and we’re very proud to have him as a coach.

Team-mate Gabi also spoke highly of the 44-year-old, saying it is the “unique” Simeone who has turned Atleti into a winning team.

“Beyond whether people like him or not, he’s helped us to win, and as long as you win that’s fantastic,” he stated. “I’m here to win, we all are, and he’s allowed us to do that. It’s a fantastic thing to have happened.”

Additionally, Gabi said that he hopes his team can lift the trophy to honour club legend and former Spain coach Luis Aragones, who passed away earlier this year.

“[Aragones] is a unique character in the history of the club. We’re all indebted to him; let’s hope that we’re at his level tomorrow and play the game as he would have wanted. I’m sure he’ll be with us.” 

Portugal international Tiago, meanwhile, is particularly eager to play the match in his home country, while he pinpointed compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo as Madrid’s main threat.

“Of course it’s a special moment to be able to play in this stadium I know so well, it’s a childhood dream. I’m very proud to be here, wearing Atletico’s colours – I only hope that tomorrow we’ll have the cup in our hands. 

“There are major players on the other side; Cristiano is perhaps the foremost among them. We’ll try to keep our wits about us, as we have all season, and we hope Cristiano will see as little of the ball as possible – we know he’s a dangerous player so the less he sees of the ball, the better.”

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05 2014
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