Premier League clubs a step ahead of La Liga and others, says Atletico Madrid boss Simeone


Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has admitted that Premier League clubs are currently a step ahead of those in La Liga and the rest of Europe's major leagues.

Simeone has just guided Atletico to their second La Liga title in the space of seven years, taking his overall haul of trophies in charge of the club to nine.

Los Rojiblancos pipped the two most successful clubs in Spanish football history to the finishing post in Real Madrid and Barcelona, but they exited the Champions League in the first knockout stage at the hands of Chelsea - who ended up in fourth place in the Premier League.

What's been said?

Chelsea went on to set up an all-English final against Manchester City after seeing off Atletico, with Simeone conceding that the Premier League is stronger than La Liga, the Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and Serie A at the moment.

"I think so (Premier League clubs are the best in Europe)," the Argentine told ESPN. "The English championship is very strong. First, they have an economic investment from all the clubs that is very equal and very strong.

"In the other championships there are always two clubs: Paris, Bayern, Barcelona and Madrid. In England, Liverpool, Manchester, City or Chelsea can win. It is a more equal championship.

"When you see who has reached the semi-finals, and Chelsea and City [are in the final], it shows the good moment of English football."

Simeone reflects on Atletico's loss to Chelsea

Atletico lost the first leg of their last-16 tie against Chelsea 1-0 on neutral ground in Romania, with travel restrictions in Spain at the time preventing the game from being played at Wanda Metropolitano.

Simeone feels his side were unlucky to lose that contest, but has no excuses for their 2-0 defeat in the second leg at Stamford Bridge and expects the Blues to play their part in an entertaining showpiece against City on Saturday.

"When we lost against Chelsea, the truth was that the first game was equal," he added. "We played in Romania due to Covid, which was an added problem.

"In the second game they were superior and we are happy that the team who eliminated us reached the final. I really like how Chelsea plays. It will be a great game because City has a great team."

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Who else did Chelsea beat to reach the final?

Chelsea were drawn against Primeira Liga giants Porto in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and won 2-0 at Estadio do Dragao before losing 1-0 at home to squeeze through to the last four.

The Blues then picked up a 3-1 aggregate victory over Real Madrid in the semi-finals, and will be gunning for their second European crown when they take on City, who saw off Borussia Monchengladbach, Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain to make the final.

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