Diego Simeone and Koke spoke to the media ahead of tomorrow's outing against Juventus. Here are their words.
Simeone: "Juve is a great rival."
Here’s what the Atletico technician had to say: “We feel a great desire to play such a beautiful game, against such a strong opponent, and once again, in the Champions League round of 16… All of this allows us to grow.” Simeone then emphasised the growth of Atletico as one of their strengths, while talking about Juve’s highlights: "They are a great company, have a very capable coach, who was able to create hierarchies – it’s a glorious history.”
"For us,” continued Simeone. “It is a motive of great pride to continue to be on these levels, in a stable way. Anticipated finale? No, it’s the Last 16, no trophy is assigned. We will try to exploit our weapons, because we start with a 50% chance of progressing past this round. "
And again on Juve: “They have so many variations, sometimes Mandzukic plays on the wing. Cristiano? He made a great choice, he went into a strong and well-established team like Juventus. We are thinking about what we have to do; we want to satisfy a stadium that will be full. It's an important match, which deserves an adequate show.”
“I do not know if Juve is the favourite and we do not care, we will play as always. It's the Champions League round of 16, there's still a lot to do, but we want to go ahead and tomorrow will be a great match. We have our identity and we will play every game as if it were a final. Personally, I will try to give the team what they need, whether you play or play I will always be ready."