Watch: Diego Simeone says Atletico Madrid are still recovering from limited pre-season

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Atletico Madrid secured their first win of the new season on Saturday with a 1-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano, but Diego Simeone acknowledged his team aren’t close to being where they want to be due to the short pre-season as a result of the World Cup.

With players like Diego Godin and Antoine Griezmann having spent a good chunk of their summer in Russia, Atletico are dealing with both fatigue and less time to build chemistry.

“We know that pre-season was a difference pre-season and now we have to work during the year to recover the lost pace we didn’t have during the pre-season,” Simeone said.

See Simeone’s full comments in the video below.

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Real Valladolid deserved a draw against Barcelona, says coach Sergio Gonzalez

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Real Valladolid coach Sergio Gonzalez said after the 1-0 defeat to Barcelona that he thought his team had deserved to walk away with a draw.

“We were very involved the first 30 minutes, we knew how to suffer, be strong and endure situations of danger to grow and surpass us, making good football and looking for a point that finally did not come and maybe we deserved,” he told the club’s website.

Watch his post-match comments below.

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Barcelona defender Gerard Pique hits out at La Liga organisers after 'lamentable' Valladolid pitch

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Barcelona centre-back Gerard Pique hit out at La Liga organisers after his team edged to victory over Valladolid on a “lamentable” pitch.

The weekend action in Spain has been overshadowed by threats of a player strike over plans to stage matches in the United States, and Pique called on organisers to change their priorities.

“The game was affected by the state of the pitch,” the 31-year-old told BeIN Sports Spain.

“Obviously, La Liga won’t comment on the subject, but if we want to sell our product internationally, it would be good to first look at what’s happening here.

“‘We want to go to the United States, we want to take the players there’… And then, we see a pitch in a deplorable state.

“It’s a shame, a big risk of injury to the players. It’s not suitable for a football game. It is shameful. I hope the officials will sort it out because it was lamentable.”

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