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A Rojiblancos board member has recalled that some fans moaned about their star striker last winter, and has heaped praise on coach Diego Simeone

Atletico Madrid general manager Miguel Angel Gil Marin has reminded the club's supporters that some sections of Vicente Calderon were criticising Falcao back in January.

The former Porto man netted a hat-trick as Diego Simeone's side defeated Chelsea 4-1 in the European Super Cup on Friday, and the Atletico chief was quick to comment on the club's critics from earlier in the year.

Nowadays he's looking good,” he told Marca. “But I remember in January some sections of the public were jeering the player. After selling the likes of [David] De Gea and [Sergio] Aguero to fulfill commitments we had with the Inland Revenue, some thought that buying a player for €40 miilion [£32m] was bordering on the irresponsible.”

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Marin also commented on the impact coach Simeone has made to the side.

“The arrival of the coach has been a blessing for us and for him. He has been able to balance a lot of different things, and that has worked for us. He is connected with the fans, the media and with our staff," he said.

"Simeone is smart enough to handle all those different aspects and make it work. Having these characteristics has meant Atletico have been able to compete at home and in Europe.

Four straight titles [two Europa Leagues, two European Super Cups] in four straight seasons is incredible. It fills me with pride and satisfaction knowing that we can take risks, and are justified in doing so because we have a controlled coach who is constantly looking for success.”

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