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Simeone: This season a ‘wake-up call’ for Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone is satisfied but expects more after his side’s season ended with a 2-1 win away to Real Sociedad on Sunday.

Having confirmed Champions League football next season, Atleti secured the third spot over Sevilla with the win through second-half goals from Argentine duo Rodrigo de Paul and Angel Correa.

After holding out against Real Madrid to win the LaLiga title last season.

After strengthening the squad with De Paul, Matheus Cunha and Antoine Griezmann’s arrivals, Simeone’s side was considered favourites to repeat.

But finished 15 points adrift of their title-winning city rivals.

According to Simeone, securing Champions League qualification is satisfactory, but this season has been a reality check for Atleti.

He said post-match:

“As we were champions last year, this always seems little.

“In the end, we ended up rounding off an important season, a good one, and one that leaves us in a privileged place.

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Simeone: This season a 'wake-up call' for Atletico Madrid

“I’m not going to lie because I always expected more, and I always want to be the champion.

“It’s not easy because we live in the league with Barcelona and Real Madrid, and it’s difficult for them to fail.

“But on two occasions since I’ve been coach of Atletico, we’ve achieved it.

“This season has given us a wake-up call.”

In December, four consecutive LaLiga losses put the Rojiblancos in a difficult position, 14 points off Real Madrid by Christmas and out of the Champions League places, with a resurgent Barcelona gaining ground under Xavi.

They were eventually able to turn around a nine-point deficit to Sevilla

while pushing Manchester City into the last 16 of the Champions League in what was a positive second half of the season.

Following a solid performance to end the season, Atleti’s substantial run home gives Simeone confidence in the next campaign, despite the Spanish league’s natural order.

He said:

“It’s not a problem of improving positions, although it’s clear how we can strengthen ourselves.

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Simeone: This season a 'wake-up call' for Atletico Madrid

“But the team is already there, and it has outstanding players who have won 10 in the last 14 games, which are numbers of a champion.

Simeone said:

“We were very close to not making it [Champions League],”

” This season leaves us with a lot of things. It was hard. We need to rest. Since it started, it wasn’t easy.

“It cost a lot. It would be great to generate hope and reverse how the end of the season was done.

“The rebelliousness of the players gives us hope.”

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