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The Argentine is delighted with his side's efforts across the course of the season and is anticipating several tight matches as La Liga comes to a close

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone believes his side can be summed up in three words: passion, work and humility.

The capital club currently sit first of La Liga, ahead of city rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona in the title race and will end the weekend on top thanks to a 1-0 win over Villarreal at the Vicente Calderon on Saturday.

And the Argentine believes that his players' workmanlike attitude has been behind their ascent over the last two years.

"Many people wonder why we are Atleti. We are because of passion, hard work and humility. If we have to suffer, we suffer," he told reporters.

"In some of the other games I have suffered as well, but in this one the result was very tight. What these players are doing is incredible and I can't find the words to express the commitment they have to Atletico.

"It was a complicated match and we could have put ourselves in a better positon in the first half. In the second half, Villarreal were better than us, they had the ball, but didn't create clear chances.

"We couldn't attack on the break. This is a very important triumph and that makes us value it more.

"All of the games until the end of the season will be tight. We were tired in the last few minutes. We didn't have the strength and the energy we usually have, but the team played with their heads."

Simeone called for the crowd's backing in the run-up to the Villarreal match and believes his rallying cry was more than vindicated.

"It must mean I know this club well because when the crowd shout the atmosphere blows up and that makes you compete ever more."