Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone actively praised the battling spirit of his side as they clinched a top-four finish in La Liga.
Atletico found themselves in a tough spot before the World Cup due to a poor league form in the latter part of 2022, along with an early exit from the Champions League group stage.
However, Simeone and his players have demonstrated their trademark resilience by forcing their way back into the top four, concluding their recovery with a 3-0 victory over Almeria during the weekend.
Simeone has the potential to finish second with Atletico in La Liga
Furthermore In the race for second place, Atletico could still potentially surpass Real Madrid, and Simeone had a message for those who had doubted him and his squad.
The Argentine said: “In November we were told we were ‘almost dead’. We worked day after day, looking for what we could control.
“We worried about what we could improve. The boys followed the plan and we are still alive.”
Despite facing a challenging end to the season, Atletico head to face relegation-battling Espanyol in midweek, followed by final matches against Europe-chasing Real Sociedad and Villarreal.