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Simeone: Atletico Madrid still the people's team despite big-money Felix signing

04:47 EAT 27/08/2019
Diego Simeone Atletico Madrid 2019-20
The Argentine coach believes his club remain the same in the face of increased financial activity

While Atletico Madrid have grown economically, manager Diego Simeone has stressed they a remain a club for the people. 

Now playing out of an upgraded Wanda Metropolitano and completing the club record signing of Joao Felix over the summer, Atletico have begun to flex their financial muscle. 

But while admitting they've changed in one respect, Simeone believes in every other way they remain the people's team. 

"I explained it well and some misinterpreted - it's clear that we can't be the people's team with the stadium we have and having paid €126 million for Joao Felix," he explained.

"But socially, morally and emotionally we are still the people's team because it's in our roots, even though we've grown economically."

Atletico continued their perfect start to the La Liga season with a narrow 1-0 win over Leganes.  

Simeone's side initially struggled to turn their superior possession into chances with star recruit Felix ultimately picking out Vitolo in the 71st minute for the decisive goal.

While a far from convincing performance, Atletico's coach appreciated the early-season challenge posed by Leganes

"We needed to win. We went looking to win the game in different ways because the game lasts 90 minutes," he said.

"That's why we changed the system as we looked for a solution. Leganes approached the game how they wanted to, but luckily we knew how to overcome it.

"I like to know how to suffer; games where it's divided in different moments, there are some where you have to suffer."

After playing a key role in guiding Simeone's team to victory, Felix was singled out for praise by Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak. 

"I knew he had great talent, great potential," Oblak said of the Portugal international, who joined from Benfica in the off-season.

"The club has made a lot of effort to bring him here and we all agree that they have brought a high-quality player and that he can become one of the best, for sure.

"At the moment he is playing very well and hopefully he continues like this, giving us joy." 

Atletico will next face Eibar at home on September 1 and currently sit second in La Liga after picking up two wins from their first two matches.