San Mames

Next Game

Ath Bilbao v A Madrid

Sunday, 21 December 2014, 20:00

Spanish Primera BBVA

Vicente Calderon

Last Game

A Madrid 2 - 2 Hospitalet

Thursday, 18 December 2014, 19:00

Copa del Rey Fourth Round

Valverde: Atletico have spirit

Valencia coach Ernesto Valverde has declared that Atletico Madrid, his side's opponents on Sunday, are a reflection of what their coach, Diego Simeone, was like as a player.

Last Updated: 30/03/13 at 12:35 Post Comment

Ernesto Valverde: Hailed rival coach for influence on side

Ernesto Valverde: Hailed rival coach for influence on side

Valverde came up against Simeone as a player in the 1990s when the former played for Athletic Bilbao and the latter for Sevilla and then Atletico Madrid.

He told a press conference: "He [Simeone] was a tough player, he brought a lot of character to his teams.

"That's the impression I have of him as a player and when I watch Atletico now it's like a version of what he was like as a player. They have an enviable spirit about them and the whole team is committed to the cause. Simeone has given the team a lot of character.

"They might not be a team that retains possession but they are a solid team who make sacrifices for each other and are good at taking the ball from their opponents, things that characterised Simeone as a player."

Valverde highlighted the quality of Atletico's Colombian striker Radamel Falcao but also mentioned Diego Costa.

He said of the Brazilian: "He has been on a great level of form for a long time now and he has great ability, it often looks like he's about to lose the ball but he never does."

Valencia are fifth in the Primera Division table, 15 points behind Atletico, who occupy third spot.

While it is still mathematically possible for Valencia to catch Simeone's side in third, the position Los Che have finished in for the past three seasons, Valverde was not optimistic about their chances of doing so.

"We have to be realists and we have a lot of ground to make up in just a few games," he admitted.

Valencia will be without main striker and top scorer Roberto Soldado, who is still recovering from an ankle injury, plus centre-back Adil Rami and midfielder Sofiane Feghouli, who are both suspended.

Atletico, on the other hand, will be without suspended right-back Juanfran Torres and midfielder Tiago, who is still recovering from a broken arm.

Valencia were the first team to beat Atletico Madrid this season and Simeone has acknowledged that Valverde's side have what it takes to get one over Los Rojiblancos when they take to the Calderon on Sunday.

He told reporters: "The players are still the same and they still have the same characteristics. They have improved on their results since then and they are fighting for the top spots, which is where they deserve to be because of the squad they have.

"They are a team that play good football and have a lot of alternatives and to my liking they have one of the best squads in the Primera Division. They've got aspirations to get further up the table and this is going to be a vital weekend for us."

The match, taking place on Easter Sunday, is expected to be a sell out and the Argentinean is excited about the match as a spectacle.

"I'm looking forward to a full stadium that will be excited about seeing a team that's one of our rivals, that have good players in almost every area of the pitch," he said.

"It's a match between two teams with big aspirations. We obviously want to keep the position we have already and they are looking to get in amongst the best teams. It will be an entertaining game."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

m only commenting on this (I don't care about Liverpool) because F365's twitter said I had call Matt Stanger a tw*t (which I don't agree with anyway) but I just wanted to be the first. Am I the first?

tk421
Trial And Error Rather Than Transition

S

unday, Sunday. Will there be a fan of either team, who if they are winning after 80 mins, won't still be nervous? This could be anything from 0-0 to 5-5, and no one would bat an eye.

megabrow (cufc)
A Season Of Continuous False Dawns

T

his year I am getting F365 a whack-a-mole game but with Brendan instead of the mole (Like the one with JD on Scrubs) and every time he pops up he says something. Outstanding Whack!, Character Whack!, Magnificent Whack!, Wonderful Composure Whack, Whack f**king Whack. Hours of fun.

hump3.
Trial And Error Rather Than Transition

Footer 365

Burnley: 'We're still underdogs' says manager Sean Dyche

Sean Dyche says Burnley will remain underdogs for most of their games but will at least "be taken more seriously".

Louis van Gaal: I'll ignore Sir Alex Ferguson and chase perfection at Manchester United

Louis van Gaal will continue to demand more from Manchester United despite Sir Alex Ferguson telling him: 'It's results that count'.

Manchester United: Marouane Fellaini was made scapegoat

Marouane Fellaini claims he was the scapegoat for Man United's poor 2013/14 season because he was David Moyes' signing.

Mail Box

More Players In The Wrong Bloody Shirt

Plus Cristiano Ronaldo, who looks 'heart-breakingly well-suited to a Real Madrid shirt' according to one United fan. Plus, words from the good doctor and plenty more...

Players Plainly Wearing The Wrong Strip...

There are some players who just look plain daft in whatever shirt they're wearing. Like Cesc and Robin. It's a cracking mailbox with a load of different themes...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property