Antoine Griezmann likens Diego Simeone to Sir Alex Ferguson as Atletico Madrid prepare for Europa League final

Antoine Griezmann says Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone reminds him of legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Simeone has guided Atletico to a La Liga title and two Champions League finals since taking charge in 2011, and will hope to earn the club a second Europa League crown when they take on Marseille in Wednesday’s final.

Griezmann continues to be linked with a switch to Barcelona this summer but, in the build-up to the Lyon showdown, the France forward paid tribute to his manager’s “historic” work and claimed: “I’ll always be there to help him”.

“What ‘Cholo’ (Simeone) is doing for the club is historic,” Griezmann told UEFA. “It’s like what (Sir Alex) Ferguson did with Manchester United and hopefully he will win trophies and take the team to the top level because he deserves it.

“I hope he will make history with the club because, thanks to him, we are here.

“You learn a lot under (Simeone). I think he’s the best tactical and defensive coach in the world and he shows that year in, year out. It’s a joy to work with him. He identifies every player’s weaknesses and tries to improve them, making you a more complete player.

“He has helped me grow both on a personal and professional level. He will always ask for the best of me and make me do my best, and I’ll always be there to help him and help win the games.”

Griezmann is under contract until 2022 and Atletico chief Miguel Angel Gil Marin last week hit out at Barcelona, warning: “Not once have we negotiated for Griezmann nor do we have any intention to do so.”

Captain Gabi, speaking ahead of the final, said he hoped the 27-year-old would stay.

“All we can do is help him to feel good with us,” he told reporters.

“He is a very important player for us and he could play in any team in the world. The only thing we can hope for is that he has a great final and wins us the trophy.”

“We need him and he knows that we want him to stay.”

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