Experience won’t help Atletico too much in Europa decider: Simeone
DIEGO Simeone has played down the significance of Atletico Madrid’s big-game experience ahead of tonight’s Europa League final against Marseille in Lyon (7.45pm).
The Argentinian (below) guided Atletico to success in the competition in 2012, a victory which provided a springboard for runs to the Champions League finals of 2014 and 2016.
They also won La Liga in 2014 and Simeone hopes to make use of those experiences against the French side tonight, but he concedes they will not make a huge difference.
Simeone said: “Experience is a little thing that can help but it’s not going to have too much influence. We’ll be excited, but also tense.
“We need to take the game where we want it and do damage where we can.”
With the likes of Dimitri Payet and Florian Thauvin shining in attack, Marseille have impressed throughout the campaign.
Simeone said: “We’re two similar sides. It’ll be a great final.”
Simeone himself will have to watch from afar as he continues to serve a touchline ban for his dismissal during the first leg of his side’s semi-final against Arsenal in London.
The match is the first of two opportunities Marseille will have to qualify for next season’s Champions League, as they can still snatch third in Ligue 1.
Captain Payet, the former West Ham playmaker, said: “We will play with our heart.”