A video of Eibar coach Gaizka Garitano firing up his squad before their Week Two encounter with Atletico Madrid has gone viral over the past 24 hours.
In the footage, Garitano is seen addressing his squad in training and urging them to be wary of the reigning La Liga champions playing style. The 39-year-old boss branded Diego Simeone’s side “cheats” and went on to say Los Colchoneros “don’t care about playing football”.
“They don’t care, all they care about is winning. They don’t want to play football; they’re all about blood, sweat and winning. That’s their mentality,” Garitano says while gesturing emphatically with his hands.
“They’re sons of b–ches; if the ball is in the air, they’ll whip out the elbow in no time. Up to Mandzukic and wham! They’ll kick you all day long and then you end up getting sent off. If you go in scared, it’s over. They cheat again and again!”
The Eibar boss continued his rant: “They give it to Miranda and if you back off, hoof! Route one! They don’t mess about.”
For the most part, Garitano’s comments were designed to motivate his squad heading into their encounter with the reigning champions of Spain. But his analysis and criticism of Atletico’s playing style is echoed amongst many in the sport. There are a number of football purists who feel Simeone’s side do not play “the beautiful game” the way it is meant to be played.
Every club has its own tactics and philosophy. Although Simeone’s style might not be the most visually appealing, his squad play with a tremendous amount of passion and unity.
Simeone’s men have also consistently won titles since the Argentine took charge of the squad in December 2011. Since that time, Atletico have won the Europa League, UEFA Super Cup, Copa del Rey, Spanish Super Cup and a La Liga title.
[Programming note: Atletico Madrid host Eibar at 2:55pm EST on beIN Sports en Español]