Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone says Melbourne Victory stars Besart Berisha and Leigh Broxham were among the players that impressed him after their 1-0 loss in the pre-season friendly.
Simeone reflected on the past four days after touring Melbourne, meeting the fans, coaching kids and playing a friendly against Premier League Giant Tottenham Hotspur.
They capped off their stay with a match against the A-League club in Geelong.
“I was particularly impressed with Berisha and Broxham, they’re very interesting in the way they play, but overall as a team they have great impact and great intensity,” Simeone said.
“The overall experience has been very good, we’ve been treated very well. We’ve enjoyed the experience, good grounds and good crowd participation and overall we got what they came for.
“First game we were able to play their first year players in the pre-season, second game we were able to put on some of the younger guys in a very competitive game against Melbourne Victory and we’ve enjoyed seeing what they’ve got and enjoyed the performance of both teams.”
Despite the loss, Simeone was happy with his team’s performance and also explained why star striker Fernando Torres did not play.
Many fans made their grievances known on social media, but the Argentinian was erring on the side of caution looking ahead to the upcoming La Liga season.
“Fernando was a possibility to come and play, however he’d played a full game less than 48 hours ago,” he said.
“Being the pre-season we’re currently in, we’re much focused on player management and keeping him fresh and fit. It wasn’t just Fernando that didn’t play today, there were a few others that didn’t play today.
“I’m very happy with the performance of the team, very good to see the young players out there displaying what they’ve got, there are a few players he’s very happy with. It’s very handy to have these games to develop the players.”