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Simeone salutes Latin American teams

Seven sides from the subregion – Argentina, hosts Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Uruguay – are through to the last 16, while the likes of defending champions Spain, Italy and England have been knocked out. 

Simeone has been quick to dismiss the weather conditions in Brazil as a factor behind the likes of Costa Rica performing better than Group D rivals Italy and England. 

Instead, the former Argentina international has suggested thriving under the pressure against a backdrop of vociferous support has been key to getting out of the group stages.

The Atletico Madrid coach told Sony One Stadium: "Overall, the Latin American teams have responded better in a South American country, with Costa Rica, Mexico and USA, along with the South American sides, all coping better in Brazil.

"The elimination of England and Italy also shows that it’s the Latin Americans who have adapted better to the conditions in the zone.

"But I don't think the climate has a bearing. Instead of heat or humidity, I believe it's because of the atmosphere in the stadiums.

"The Latin American teams are used to playing with that warm atmosphere in the stands. It motivates you, invites you to rebel, to insist and to become even stronger – as well as the boost you receive by seeing so many people supporting you.

"I don't think the climate affects that. The sides doing the best are the ones who think most as a team – like Costa Rica, like Mexico, like Uruguay, who are there in the last 16 once again despite all the difficulties they had after losing their first game."