Diego Simeone refused to be drawn into a war of words with Pep Guardiola ahead of Atletico Madrid's Champions League quarter-final second leg with Manchester City on Wednesday night.
City boss Guardiola hinted at his displeasure at Simeone's defensive system during last week's first leg at the Etihad Stadium - which City won 1-0 - describing Atleti as playing a "5-5" shape as they threw men behind the ball.
It's a barb Simeone has grown used to hearing over the years and he refrained from adding fuel to the fire by instead quoting a Spanish fishing proverb that hinted at what can happen if you disparage others.
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Speaking on the eve of the encounter at the Wanda Metropolitano, 'El Cholo' said: “I have been coaching since 2005 and I always say the same thing: I never do [comment], I am never disrespectful with colleagues of mine.
"I put myself in the position of the coaches I compete against and I understand that there are different ways of expressing what you feel as a coach.
“When someone does not appreciate a colleague, I don’t share that.
"Others’ opinions - press, ex-players, people who haven’t been in the game a long time - I’ll say what my dad always said: 'Por la boca muere el pez' [it's the mouth that kills the fish].
"Words are free and we can all express an opinion. There are ways of acting among colleagues and I have one: respect others always.”
Despite the widespread brickbats over his approach, Simeone ruled out ripping up an approach that has proved so successful during his tenure with Los Rojiblancos, especially not in a game of this magnitude.
“I am not going to get far away from what we believe in," he said.
“[But] hopefully we can combine better; have better, faster transitions; be more precise in our counter-attacks and our most significant players can have a fantastic night.
"We will try to take the game to where we think we can hurt them.
"In a football match, anything can happen.”
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