Diego Simeone believes that Atletico Madrid are not ‘an Italian side playing in Spain’, as he outlines his team’s respect for opponents Porto.
Atleti travel out to Portugal to take on their Group G opponents on Tuesday evening with both teams on three points so far.
Porto’s Paulo Fonseca mused that Los Colchoneros were ‘an Italian team playing in Spain’ in his Press conference, but it is not a view his counterpart shares.
“We always play to win, not to the identity of any country,” Simeone reflected in his pre-game briefing.
“We realise football is to win and we have a distinct way of interpreting it, and I think Paulo Fonseca understands our philosophy.
“We are coming up against a great team who are very strong at home. They are well organised with a great history in this competition, so we have to be wary.
“The stats tell you that Porto have a very good record at home in the Champions League. We go in to the game with one less day of preparation, it's not an excuse, but a reality. But we’ll prepare well for the game to try to get the best result.
“Porto won the match in Austria and we won against Zenit but there’s a long way to go. We’re not going to change how we play.
“Porto are a team that plays well down the wings and from set pieces. They’re very strong at home. In the Champions League they are very competitive.
“They play every year and are used to playing these kind of games.”
Diego Costa serves the final game of a suspension in European competition carried over from last season, so David Villa will lead the line.
“Without a doubt David Villa is a player with a lot of experience and he has won major titles. I'm surprised the effect that he has had on the team.
“I hope he can go on how he is doing and the goals will come. He is very important for us, he takes up great positions, is good with the ball and most importantly, scores goals.”