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Simeone staying put at Atletico

Madrid (AFP) – Diego Simeone stressed on Sunday he will remain as Atletico Madrid coach next season after the Spanish giants waved goodbye to their Vicente Calderon stadium with a 3-1 win over Athletic Bilbao.

Simeone has transformed Atletico’s fortunes over the past five-and-a-half years and promised to stay to see the club move into their new 67,000 Wanda Metropolitano home next season.

“The journalists ask me constantly if I am going to stay. Yes, I am going to stay,” Simeone told an adoring crowd as Atletico honoured legends past and present in a ceremony after their final competitive match at the Calderon.

“And do you know why I am going to stay? I am going to stay because this club has a future and this future is all of us.”

Atletico finished third in La Liga for a third straight season since breaking Real Madrid and Barcelona’s hegemony by winning the title in 2013/14.

Simeone’s men also fell to Barca and Madrid in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey and Champions League respectively.

However, the Argentine, who also had two spells as a player for Atletico, said his ties to the club go beyond winning titles.

“There are other teams that may have more money, a few trophies more than us, but they will never match the feeling you (the fans) have for Atletico.”

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