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Atlético Madrid

'You have to squeeze your a**!' - Griezmann issues Atletico warning but backs Simeone after European exit

7:46 pm AEDT 2/11/22
Griezmann Atlético Brujas Champions 12102022
Antoine Griezmann continues to back Diego Simeone but has urged his underperforming Atletico Madrid teammates to ''squeeze your a** and fight''.
  • Atletico finished bottom of Group B
  • Lost 2-1 to Porto on final group stage matchday
  • No further European football in 2022-23

WHAT HAPPENED? The Rojiblancos came out second best against Porto in their final Champions League group stage game which relegated them to the fourth spot in Group B and saw them miss out on a Europa League spot. Simeone finds himself under increasing pressure after Atletico's poor start to the season, but Griezmann says he and the rest of the squad must take responsibility.

WHAT THEY SAID: "We don't deserve to go through to the knockout stages of the Champions League or the Europa League, that's the way it is. If you can only win one game in the group stage, that's what you have to do, now you have to squeeze your a**, work, shut your mouth and fight", Griezmann told Movistar.

He added on Simeone: "We are under his orders to work, it is a pride for us to work for him and play for this club, but we have to show it on the field. We have nothing to say to the fans, just thanks for his work at home and abroad to listen to them, they don't deserve this."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: This is the first time in more than a decade that Atletico have exited European competitions before Christmas. In 2010-11 they failed to progress to the knockouts of the Europa League and finished seventh in La Liga. Simeone offered no excuses after the Porto game, telling reporters: ''You can always be worse. You have to worry about knowing where we are now and improve. We ended up in the place we deserved. Accept reality. From there on, another phase begins tomorrow.”


WHAT NEXT FOR ATLETICO MADRID? After a disappointing result in the Champions League, Simeone will now shift his attention to La Liga as his side are set to host Espanyol on Sunday.