Alvaro Morata has no grudge against Antoine Griezmann for wanting to leave Atletico Madrid, but worries about Diego Simeone’s future.
Alvaro Morata says Atletico Madrid must respect Antoine Griezmann’s wishes to leave the club, adding that Diego Simeone’s exit would be a greater cause for concern.
Griezmann caused a stir this month when he confirmed he wants to quit the Wanda Metropolitano, his announcement coming less than a year after signing a new long-term contract following a much-publicised decision to ignore interest from Barcelona.
The Catalans have again been linked with a move for the France international, as have Manchester United, and Morata thinks a player who has contributed to Atletico as Griezmann has deserves support.
“If you’re inside the dressing room, you know it’s a possibility [he will leave],” he told Marca.
“The only thing to do is to respect him. He’s been one of the best in the club’s history; he’s given so much to Atletico. We have to support him.
“He’s treated me very well. We wish him well, as long as he doesn’t play against Atletico, of course.”
However, Morata thinks it would be a far bigger loss if Atlet’s head coach opts to leave the club.
Simeone has propelled the club into the highest bracket of European teams since taking over in 2011, winning LaLiga, the Copa del Rey, the Supercopa de Espana, two UEFA Super Cups and two Europa Leagues, while also twice reaching the Champions League final.
“It would be very difficult to understand Atletico without Simeone,” said Morata. “There have been a lot of players, but Atletico always fight since Cholo came.
“He’d be a great loss. Simeone is Atletico. You can’t imagine them without him.”
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) May 24, 2019
“Atletico are losing two legends on the pitch, two leaders,” said the striker, who is on loan from Chelsea. “They’ve helped me a lot. I wish I could have played with them more.
“I’ve experienced difficult times, like in Turin, and that’s where the character of great people, of champions comes through.”
Atleti finished 11 points behind champions Barca in this season’s LaLiga title race, although they were eight points clear of Real Madrid in third.
Morata admits Barca, inspired by Lionel Messi, were simply too strong this term – but he does not think Spain’s top flight has become one-sided.
“We hope we’ll become a competitive team,” he said. “We’ve not had luck and we know you need that for the Champions League or to win LaLiga. It’s small details. It’s not like Italy or France, where it’s won by a lot of points.
“It’s true Barcelona have been very good, with a player who has been at a level that is not normal among humans.”