Simeone would play Barca and Real 'every week'

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone would play against La Liga title rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona "every week" if he had the choice.

Atleti are locked in a  three-way battle for the Liga crown and currently sit third, level on points with champions Barcelona and three behind leaders Real - who they host in a crucial Madrid derby on Sunday.

Simeone believes that facing the likes of Real and Barcelona causes "fear" for some sides, but the Argentinian relishes the challenge of pitting his team against Spanish football's two superpowers.

"It's better for us. In the sports papers, 10 pages are dedicated to Madrid and another 10 to Barca and if they win 4-0, it's as though they won 16-0 because they constantly repeat the highlights," Simeone told Ole.

"That creates a situation of fear and so when you have to play against them, you're almost losing from the start.

"For foreign teams it's a bit different, meeting Madrid or Barca motivates them as they are less affected by the media hype. If it was up to me, I'd play against them every week."

Simeone also spoke about the development of his side, and is delighted by the approach his charges are showing to competing both domestically and in the UEFA Champions League.

He added: "We want to build a team which shows commitment.

"That is a very big word to use and I mean it in the sense of being committed to play, to run, to train, respect your rival, understand the intelligence that lies behind the game.

"At Atletico, I think we are achieving that and it's fantastic to see a kind of commitment that few people have in life.

"We have a very specific way of working. We know that, as a team, we are dangerous and competitive.

"We also know that, over 40 weeks, Real Madrid and Barca will be streets ahead of us but in the day-to-day, we feel very close to them."