Thinking we should beat Real Madrid just to help Barcelona would be 'mediocre', says Atletico coach Simeone

The Argentine insists that his sole focus ahead of his side's clash with Los Blancos is picking up a victory in order to boost the Rojiblancos' hopes of qualifying for Europe
Diego Simeone insists that it would be "mediocre" of Atletico Madrid if their primary motivation for wanting to defeat Real Madrid on Wednesday was to upset their neighbours' La Liga title hopes.

Los Blancos arrive at the Vicente Calderon desperate for victory after allowing Barcelona to reduce their one-time 10-point lead at the top of the table to just four points because of a run of three draws in their last five games.

Rojiblancos legend Paolo Futre has suggested in the build-up to the game at the Vicente Calderon that the club's supporters would derive extra satisfaction from a first victory over their neighbours in 12 years because of the damaging effect it would have of Madrid's title bid, but Simeone does not see it that way at all.

"I disagree with Futre," the Argentine told reporters on Tuesday. "It would be mediocre to think of winning just because it would do Barca a favour.

"I do not care what it means for the others. We want the three points for ourselves.

"In my case, I don't need an anti-Madridista gene. I'm only concerned about talking about us.

"Atletico Madrid are Atletico Madrid. It is the only way to grow: looking inside and not outside."

Meanwhile, Simeone revealed that he has an enormous amount of respect for Madrid counterpart Jose Mourinho.

"I have great admiration for him," the former Rojiblancos midfielder confessed. "The way in which he has handled his squad is the best way to ensure that they can be successful everywhere."

The eagerly-awaited clash in the Spanish capital gets underway at 22.00CET.