Diego Simeone has already begun the mind games for the upcoming La Liga campaign

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has already begun the mind games for the upcoming La Liga campaign after stating that archrivals Real Madrid are now ready to take over the league title following the appointment of Rafa Benitez.

Even though the Spaniard has won only a handful of league titles in his career, the club have backed him to succeed Carlo Ancelotti in a successful manner. Real have so far been silent in this transfer window and have not made any headline grabbing signings. This is in sharp contrast to Atletico, who have made substantial changes to the squad and this includes the departure of Mario Mandzukic.

Simeone has been widely praised for this role in helping Atletico become the first team outside the duo of Real Madrid and Barcelona to have won the league title in the last decade. However, his team are not seen as favourites for the upcoming campaign. Reigning champions Barcelona are expected to improve even further despite not being able to sign new players until January. They have already made some key additions to the squad like Atletico midfielder Arda Turan. Despite this, the desire to win the league title after a long gap will push Madrid next season according to Simeone.

“It’s going to be complicated for any team other than Real Madrid to win the league. They sign the best players, so they should win the title. One league title in seven years isn’t enough. If I were a Real Madrid fan I’d think we can’t accept being on a par with Atletico. He’s [Rafa Benitez] a successful coach. He knows the club and has every chance of doing a good job. Barcelona should be worried because next season won’t be as easy,” said the Atletico Madrid boss ahead of the new campaign in Spanish football.