‘We can rival Barca, Madrid, if…’

Joao Miranda says Atletico Madrid could compete with Barcelona and Real Madrid this season, as he also looks forward to the Champions League.

Atleti led Madrid in the League for a significant stretch of last season, before eventually falling behind both the eventual runners-up and runaway champions Barcelona.

But, for their centre-back, there is a chance that Los Colchoneros can peg them back this term.

“With David Villa and a couple more signings, yes, I think we can compete with Barca and Madrid,” Miranda considered to AS today.

“Because they have great squads and we also need a quality workforce so as to fight them on equal terms. Our goal is to fight for the title in every competition that we compete in and the first objective is to win the Supercopa de Espana against Barcelona in August.

“Facing fellow Brazilian Neymar? He is a great player and certainly he will succeed at Barca. I wish him well in the Spanish League, I will follow him and support him, less so when he plays against Atletico…”

Atleti are back in the Champions League for this season also.

“When I came to Atletico, my goal was to play in the Champions League. Now I do not just want to play in it, but to have a great campaign.

“We will have to play our best football to pass through the group stage because in knockout matches, our team is very strong and we can beat anyone.”

The defender was asked of Atleti’s strong record in keeping opposition teams out last term, based on his partnership with Diego Godin.

“Our entire system is very solid defensively. And Godin is great in defence, he is a starter with Uruguay, has a high technical level, is competitive and fights for every ball.

“Playing with him makes it easier for any player. We have spent two years together and we know each other very well and know the strengths and weaknesses of each other.

“We know where the other might falter and can help correct mistakes. Nobody is perfect, we work very well on the field.”

Tags Godin Miranda Neymar