Real Madrid 4 Atletico Madrid 1 comment: What next for Diego Simeone and Atletico’s stars such as Diego Costa?


As the man in black finally downed tools and walked away from the most remarkable season in Atletico Madrid’s history on Saturday night, he did so still with a spring in his step and his head held high.

Diego Simeone was asked what he planned to do next and the coach said: “We need to make plans for next season. Then we will rest a little bit and watch the World Cup and then we will be back to defend our league title.”

It was leadership right to the end, reminding the club’s players and supporters that they finished the season as the best team in Spain. Whether they will be able to defend their crown with the same players will depend on those players and in the case of Thibaut Courtois, on the club that owns him.

“I don’t have an emotional link to Chelsea,” the goalkeeper said at the final whistle. “I have nothing against them it is just that I have this bond with Atletico Madrid after all that I have lived through with the club these past three seasons.

“If I have to go back to  Chelsea just to play FA Cup and League Cup games  then I will have to look for a solution.”


Courtois would rather stay but the club’s chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin admitted it would not be very easy to redraw an extension of his loan period that was binned after Chelsea drew Atletico Madrid in the Champions League and he then was allowed to play against them despite a clause obliging Atleti to pay Chelsea more money if he did.

Gil said: “We’re going to try and make sure that all of the relevant players stay here. We’ve made a very aggressive approach for Diego Costa to stay and we want to keep this dream going but it all depends on him.”

Costa, like Courtois, would be happy to stay at the Vicente Calderon another season but that will not happen if Chelsea make their move for the striker. Midfielder Koke and left-back Felipe Luis will be other targets  but Koke’s allegiance to the club he has supported all his life and Felipe Luis’ loyalty  to Simeone could yet see  both stay.

Gil added: “Our intention is not to sell anyone unless the player himself asks to be sold. Because of the run we have had in the Champions League we will have the money to mean we don’t have to sell.”

Simeone will definitely be staying although how much of the new Champions League campaign he must watch from the sidelines will depend on how Uefa views his one-man pitch invasion during extra-time in pursuit of Real defender Raphael Varane.

The young Frenchman kicked the ball towards Simeone, who said: “He’s a bit young to be doing something like that to me. But I also reacted in a way that I should not have.”

It was the first time this  season Simeone had lost his calm. Just as Atletico Madrid were losing their grip on the Champions League dream. “We will not cry over it,” he said. “I am bitter about us falling short but we have to pick ourselves up and go again.”

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
Jay Z
businessJay-Z's bid for Spotify rival could be blocked
The spider makes its break for freedom
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle v United player ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot