Miranda: Copa goal changed history

Miranda believes the goal he scored in last year’s Copa del Rey final changed Atletico Madrid’s whole mindset.

The centre-back scored the extra-time winner against Real Madrid in the final of the 2013 competition and ahead of the meeting between the sides in this year’s semi-final, Miranda says he understands the importance of that victory.

“I’ve seen that goal many times. I’ve never been thanked for anything as much as for scoring that goal,” he told AS.

“It changed history, right? I think from that game we have faced every opponent differently.

“I am very happy to have been one of the protagonists.

“Since that day we’ve had more confidence in ourselves.”

Miranda added that he expects Real Madrid to be as strong as ever when they meet on Wednesday.

“Not much has changed. They’re still very strong and still the favourites.

“But we are a strong team too, brave and hard to beat. We’re raring to go.

“We know the Santiago Bernabeu will be a hostile environment, like playing at San Mames.

“But we won’t be intimidated. We have shown already we can withstand that kind of pressure.”

Miranda credited Coach Diego Simeone with Atletico’s defensive record and admitted he was relishing the prospect of coming up against Madrid’s attackers.

“Simeone changed the way we defend. Before we only defended with four or five players.

“These are the kinds of games that motivate a defender.

“You want to face the best attackers in the world and they have many of them.

“You can’t lose sight of them for a single moment, from the first minute to the 93rd or 94th, until the referee blows his whistle.

“They have the ability to surprise in an instant and we can’t afford to let them score.”

Miranda, when asked to compare the attacking merits of Madrid and Barcelona, revealed that he personally finds Madrid harder to play against.

“In my view Barcelona doesn’t have the same depth as Madrid.

“Although that doesn’t make it much easier.

“The players and tactics are different but it is extremely difficult against both.

“The key with Madrid is that [Carlo] Ancelotti has made them stronger in every area.

“It’ll be an even game and the details will decide it. Set-pieces as well, just like when I won the Cup…”

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