By 90Min
April 05, 2018

Diego Simeone has admitted that he would prefer to win the Europa League this term than have yet another Champions League final defeat on his CV.

The Atletico Madrid boss spoke to the press (h/t Goal) ahead of his side's quarter final first leg clash against Sporting CP on Thursday, and explained why it meant more to him to win trophies than appear in UEFA's flagship club tournament.

Atletico lost the 2014 and 2016 UEFA Champions League finals to bitter city rivals Real and, after finishing third in their group in this season's edition, dropped down into the Europa League to contest for that crown instead.

KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/GettyImages

It is a competition that Simeone claims his side can win for the third time in the past decade, with Atleti having lifted the trophy in May 2010 and May 2012, and he stated his belief that winning titles - no matter their status - was more important than suffering heartache in bigger tournaments.

He remarked: "It's normal people have their own opinions and that we're more motivated or less depending on the rival, but they don't live football from the inside so they don't know the rivals as we do. 

"If we had to play against Bayern Munich they would say it's an impossible game but if it was against Astana they would say it's easy, but the truth is you have to play every game and we always try to do our best to qualify for the next rounds.

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"Indeed, we think we're even [with Sporting] for this qualifying round. Sporting have a great coach, a very capable man. The teams he's trained always did a good job.

"And on about what I prefer on my resume, I have to say that I will always choose the wins. It's an important achievement to be runner-up in an important competition such as the Champions League but it's always better to be the champion, that's obvious."

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