Football: Atletico La Liga success shows strength in adversity, says Simeone

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone celebrates winning La Liga with his players. PHOTO: REUTERS

VALLADOLID, SPAIN (AFP) - Diego Simeone said Atletico Madrid winning La Liga was a triumph of overcoming adversity after his team were on Saturday (May 22) crowned champions for the second time in seven years.

Atletico beat Real Valladolid 2-1 to finish two points ahead of Real Madrid at the end of a draining season shaped by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"It's been a very hard year for us and for the world, difficult for every team and in such a tough season Atletico has come out as champions," said Simeone.

"That is symbolic, it speaks of the club and the team being made of something different, that in difficult moments, when everything seems impossible, with the pandemic and the injuries and without fans in the stadiums - with all this, our players gave it everything and they came out on top."

Luis Suarez scored the winner, his 21st goal of the season proving to be the one that clinched the title for Atletico, eight months after he was forced to leave Barcelona.

"Suarez is a man of character. He's defiant, he's a goalscorer, a guy who after leaving an extraordinary club like Barcelona wanted to continue to show that he is among the best in the world," Simeone said.

"The team helped him, he integrated quickly and felt very comfortable and that's why he ended up having a fantastic season."

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