Simeone 'like a god' for Atletico, says Tiago

Atletico Madrid midfielder Tiago declared coach Diego Simeone is "like a god" for the Spanish club ahead of the UEFA Champions League final.

Simeone guided the club to their first Liga title in 18 years this season, while his tenure - which started in 2011 - has also included a UEFA Europa League crown and a Cope del Rey triumph.

On Saturday Atleti have the chance to become European champions for just the second time, with city rivals Real Madrid standing in their way.

And it is clear that Atleti's players will take inspiration from their coach.

"For us, for all the club, he is like a god," Tiago said.

"He arrived at the club and he changed everything. What he said to us has come true. We follow him – if he asked us to go and jump off the bridge. We jump.

"He knows a lot about football and we, our group, we follow him."

Tiago joined Atleti from Juventus a year before Simeone became coach.

The 33-year-old Portuguese midfielder, who has also been on the books at Benfica, Chelsea and Lyon, reckons Atletico is unlike anywhere else he has played.

"This is a special club. A club where people have a passion for the colours and very few clubs have that passion," Tiago said.

"I am Portuguese but I will be Colchonero (an Atletico fan) all my life."

Tiago believes tha Real are favourites to prevail and he remains wary of Carlo Ancelotti's men, who thumped Atleti 5-0 on aggregate in the Copa del Rey semi-finals in February.

"I think we are underdogs," Tiago added.

"Real Madrid is a big team with big players.

"It is true we are the champions so it does not matter if we are underdogs or not. We have a dream and we want it to come true."


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