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Singapore's Hariss named in AFF Best XI

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Simeone: Atletico need stability

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone says his club needs more stability at boardroom level if they are to consistently challenge for big trophies.

Simeone's first 18 months in charge at Atletico have brought huge improvement, with Los Colchoneros securing the 2011-12 Europa League trophy and this term is involved in a battle with city rivals Real Madrid for second place in the Primera Division, with Champions League qualification already looking certain with nine games still to play.

This has raised expectations that the Argentine, who signed a new four-year contract in March, could deliver a first La Liga title since 1996 to the Estadio Vicente Calderon. However, he told revistaminuto116.com that progress behind the scenes was needed for that to happen.

"You do not win a league title in one year," Simeone said. "There must be stability and economic balance. I do not like to lie to people, that is the reality. The economic strength of this club comes from the youth system and playing in the Champions League. We need stability to be able to grow institutionally and compete with the big teams."

Simeone was apparently drawing attention to Atletico's estimated €514 million debt and the boardroom squabbles between president Enrique Cerezo and chief executive Miguel Angel Gil which have plagued the club for years.

Having the right structures in place to both develop and sign good players was more important than any manager or club executive, Simeone suggested.

"I have never believed that the coach is so important, never," he said. "I always think the player is a lot more important than those who are around him."

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