Rivaldo Exclusive: You can take nothing for granted against Simeone

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone
Simeone - "one of the world's best"

Betfair Ambassador Rivaldo hails Atleti boss as one of world's best, criticises a Barca coach for his behaviour and expresses support for jailed team-mate Ronaldinho...

"Simeone is one of the best managers in the world and he knows how to approach these huge and decisive matches, encouraging his players to push themselves to the limit, and sometimes beyond that."

When I discussed Liverpool's tie against Atletico Madrid I warned that, while the English team was the favourite for what they have been achieving lately and for being European champions, Atleti weren't going to be easy to beat.

For me, Diego Simeone is one of the best managers in the world and he knows how to approach these huge and decisive matches, encouraging his players to push themselves to the limit, and sometimes beyond that.

Simeone had a huge influence on his team's victory over Liverpool. Los Colchoneros are always highly focused and motivated with him around, he transmits strength and will to the players and they respond by achieving things that many people don't expect.

Looking more closely to the coaches merits, we could say that Simeone is having big influence on Liverpool's recent fall, as they have beaten them in Spain to start their bad results phase, and now took advantage of that to brilliantly qualify at Anfield.

Neymar proved his quality and personality against Dortmund

PSG finally reached the Champions League quarter-finals and Neymar was very important for them in a very tough match without fans in the stands.

He scored a goal and produced a good performance along with his team, managing to turn around a 2-1 deficit from the first leg and all the team must be congratulated for that.


Kylian Mbappe was sick before the game and started in the bench which increased Neymar's responsibility in the game, and he answered in the best possible way, with a brilliant performance to confirm the great player that he is. He isn't afraid of assuming responsibility either.

Barça's assistant coach needs to moderate his behaviour

Eder Sarabia was caught on video in El Clasico uttering some offensive words to his players and gesticulating in a bad way on the bench. He needs to understand that now he is at Barcelona, a team that attracts lots of attention and his bench is constantly being watched.

He must be more careful with his behaviour as these things can damage the spirit of the squad. In tense moments of big games, it's normal that you say or act in a bad way some times, but it's important to contain it most of the time. I'm saying this to all members of the staff and squad in the bench.

Casemiro clasico sad 1280.jpg

I don't think Sarabia wanted to hurt any player with his comments, but this reached the press and it's not pretty to hear it. It's crucial to avoid a repetition of this as the cameras will always be around for these big occasions.

Very sad for Ronaldinho's difficult situation

I'm obviously sad for what is happening to my friend and national teammate Ronaldinho who is currently stuck in prison in Paraguay, as that is bad for his reputations as a big football idol and he certainly doesn't deserve it.

He had a beautiful career in football and seeing this happening is worrying. But it's still too early to know what exactly is going on and only when I talk to him will I would find out what exactly happened.

Naturally, as a friend and teammate I must listen to Ronaldinho's version of events and try to understand why he has an apparently forged passport.

At the moment, there isn't enough information to understand the story and I believe that's why the Paraguayan police are still investigating. Has Ronaldinho made a mistake? Did he even realise that was travelling with a forged passport? All this must be made clear soon.

But I'm sad for him, as he always displayed excellent behaviour with me. He's a good person and it's not easy to see him in this situation that is being covered worldwide.

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