Champions League

Diego Simeone explains why he will not shake Jurgen Klopp's hand

Sean Walsh
Simeone doesn't like post-game handshakes
Simeone doesn't like post-game handshakes / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Diego Simeone has said that he will not shake Jurgen Klopp's hand after Atletico Madrid's game at Liverpool because he believes the gesture is 'false'.

The Argentine dodged the post-game pleasantry in their last Champions League meeting two weeks ago by darting straight down the Wanda Metropolitano tunnel, which left Klopp a little bemused.

The Liverpool boss played down notions of any bad blood between the two after that match, and Simeone has explained in a pre-match press conference ahead of the return fixture why he is so averse to shaking hands with his opposite number.

“I don’t like the greeting after the match because they are the emotions of two sides in different emotional minds,” he said.

“I know in the UK it is a custom and a sign of respect but I don’t share it and I don’t like the falseness it may include so I behave how I feel.

“I don’t know Klopp as a person very well but I know he is a great coach who has done great work at every club he has been at.”

Liverpool and Atletico will meet on Wednesday for the fourth time in three seasons. Simeone's side knocked the Reds out at the last 16 stage of the Champions League back in the 2019/20 season, though they were beaten 3-2 by Klopp's men in their last group stage game.

But Simeone insists he is not out for revenge and is simply looking forward to a 'great match'.

“It’s two great stadiums with two great sets of supporters with two clubs who want to continue growing globally so I think it is normal to be considered a great match,” he said.

“It isn’t about getting back at someone, in football it doesn’t exist. There’s no sense of ‘Let’s get back at them’.

“It’s a new match and whatever result tomorrow will be the consequences of that match and not the match which happened a year ago – even if the match a year ago will stay in the memories of the Atletico Madrid fans.”