Gabi: Barca favourites, but…

Gabi Fernandez has commented on Atletico Madrid’s ambition to close the gap to Barcelona and Real Madrid and on the Supercopa de Espana.

Atleti head into the first leg of the season opener against last year’s League champions as hosts and underdogs, something that their captain is not shying away from.

“Always playing in a two-legged fixture hurts us more, but we face it in the best possible way,” Gabi commented in his pre-match conference.

“We have to meet our needs with effort. We will try. It is a competition and an important title for us.

“Barca are favourite for the great potential that they have, but we will try with our weapons.

“Barca’s 7-0 win at the weekend? It isn’t scary to us. It imposes respect. Any player in their team can decide a game.”

The midfielder was asked to consider if Atleti are now obligated to finish as Spain’s third best team in the League now.

“We have few obligations. We want to go slowly. Add games and add titles.

“We want to be close to the two above us and make the difference as small as possible.

“We know our potential and we know our quality to fight.

“Can the Champions League push the team forward? The Champions League isn’t the Europa League, but it is our unity that will bring this group forward.”

Gabi was asked for his view so far this term on youngster Koke and Oliver Torres.

“Koke was last year very important for us and we hope that he will continue to grow. He will be the future of Atletico if he isn’t already.

“As will Oliver, who this year is beginning to have more prominence. You have to be careful not to overwhelm him, but he will be a world class player.”

Tags Gabi Koke Oliver Supercopa de Espana