Atletico de Madrid boss Diego Simeone admits city rivals Real Madrid are much bigger than his club but little by little Los Rojiblancos are catching up.
The Argentine lead his team to their first La Liga win since 1996 last season, and they were also runners up in the Champions League, losing 4-1 to Los Blancos after extra time. For much of that game they lead – until Sergio Ramos scored a 93rd minute equaliser.
The Vicente Calderon side have already beaten Los Blancos in the Spanish Supercopa this season, and in the league, and they hold a 2-0 lead going into the second leg of their Copa del Rey tie on Thursday.
Speaking in Zurich, where Simeone and Carlo Ancelotti were both candidates for the FIFA Manager of the Year award, the Atletico boss said his team were being rewarded for their hard work and were slowly catching up with their more illustrious neighbours.
In 2014 we got the reward after the hard work we put. My team has great players, who played exactly the way we practiced during the week, with the same strength and effort. I’m was voted as a Coach of the Year nominee thanks to them,” he stated.
And he added: “Real Madrid are much stronger but, little by little, with our hard work, we’ll try to catch them.”