Diego Simeone: Having no English clubs left in Europe should be a wake-up call for the Premier League 

  • There are no English clubs left in the Champions League or Europa League
  • Diego Simeone admits he is surprised at the plight of Premier League sides
  • He believes Barcelona and Real Madrid are the top two clubs in Europe
  • Atletico Madrid face Real Madrid in their Champions League quarter-final 

By Joe Strange for MailOnline

Published: 09:21 GMT, 21 April 2015 | Updated: 19:15 GMT, 21 April 2015

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Diego Simeone has admitted his surprise at the fact there are no English clubs left in Europe as he prepares Atletico Madrid for their Champions League quarter-final second leg.

The are no Premier League clubs in the last eight of the competition after Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City were eliminated at the last 16 stage, while Everton were dumped out of the Europa League in the previous round.

And Simeone, who takes his side to the Bernabeu to face local rivals Real Madrid on Wednesday, believes the failure of English clubs in Europe this season should kick the country's top-flight into gear.

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has admitted his surprise at the plight of English clubs in Europe

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has admitted his surprise at the plight of English clubs in Europe

Chelsea's players look dejected during their costly draw at home to Paris Saint-Germain last month

Chelsea's players look dejected during their costly draw at home to Paris Saint-Germain last month

Barcelona's Luis Suarez beats Joe Hart during his side's 2-1 win against Manchester City at the Etihad

Barcelona's Luis Suarez beats Joe Hart during his side's 2-1 win against Manchester City at the Etihad

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In an exclusive column for goal.com, Simeone wrote: 'I am surprised there are no English clubs left in the Champions League - English football has enormous potential with its footballers and also its financial clout.

'The fact that there is no English team left in the last eight of the Champions League or in the Europa League is a wake-up call for the Premier League to look at why it is that, despite their great economic power and with all the many great footballers playing in England, Chelsea are so far ahead of everyone else and why they have no teams left in Europe.'

Despite his shock at the plight of Premier League clubs in the Champions League this term, Simeone believes that Spain is still home to the two best teams in Europe.

La Liga leaders Barcelona are on the verge of reaching the semi-finals after a 3-1 win at Paris Saint-Germain last week, while Real have home advantage against Atletico following a 0-0 draw at the Vicente Calderon.

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil sits on the turf after his side's last 16 Champions League exit at the hands of Monaco

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil sits on the turf after his side's last 16 Champions League exit at the hands of Monaco

Simeone believes his side will face one of Europe's top two teams when they take on Real Madrid

Simeone believes his side will face one of Europe's top two teams when they take on Real Madrid

Beating Barca to the title last season was harder than winning the Champions League, according to Simeone

Beating Barca to the title last season was harder than winning the Champions League, according to Simeone

Simeone added: 'I believe there are many great players in the Premier League and the financial conditions allow a number of teams to bring in top talents. That said, the Spanish league still has the two best teams: Real Madrid and Barcelona.

'So for us at Atletico, we are competing against two teams with the obligation of winning the Champions League. At the very least, Madrid and Barcelona are among the last eight in Europe every season and usually the last four, so for Atletico to win La Liga last season was a tremendous achievement.'

Atletico will fancy their chances in Wednesday's second leg after stopping Carlo Ancelotti's side from scoring a potentially vital away goal in last week's opener.

The hosts will be without the injured trio of Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Luka Modric, while Marcelo is suspended after being booked in the first leg. 

Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid drew 0-0 in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final

Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid drew 0-0 in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final

Gareth Bale will miss Wednesday's second leg after picking up an injury against Malaga on Saturday

Gareth Bale will miss Wednesday's second leg after picking up an injury against Malaga on Saturday

 

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