Friday, March 18, 2016 5:11 pm
Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone admitted his side had been given a tough draw in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.
This was after they were drawn against Spanish BBVA Primera Liga leaders and Champions League holders FC Barcelona on Friday.
“Barca are an important rival and they are certainly the best team in the world, but what better for us to be able to face the best in the world? I find that very exciting,” said Simeone.
Atletico have lost twice to Barca in the league this season and the Atletico coach said Barca had improved in several aspects.
“They work better at set-pieces and counter-attacks, they have Luis Suarez… they are a side that have more options,” he said.
Meanwhile Barcelona’s Director of Football, Javier Bordas, admitted the reigning champions had
been given a tough draw.
“I don’t think we could have got a tougher rival,” he said, describing Atletico as “the side which defends best in the competition and we know it is going to be really hard.’’
“Everything about Atletico Madrid is tough. Everyone talks about their defence, but they also do a lot of damage in attack,” he said.
However, the Barca man was philosophical about the draw. “There were easier sides but if you want to win the Champions League you have to beat them all,” Bordas said.
Real Madrid were luckier in the draw and will face Wolfsburg in the last eight, although Emilio Butragueno was at pains to play down talk of favouritism.
“The word `favourite’ is dangerous,” he said.
“Wolfsburg are a German side and they will have maximum motivation. We will have to play very well, because we all know what it means to make a mistake in Europe,” said the Real Madrid Director of Institutional Relations.