Milan Coach Clarence Seedorf has spoken of his respect for Atletico Madrid prior to the Champions League tie between the sides.
Seedorf was appointed to the Milan bench in January, his first coaching role after a lengthy career as a player.
The 37-year-old represented Ajax, Sampdoria, Real Madrid, Inter, Milan and Botafogo before calling it a day, claiming four Champions League winners’ medals and 87 caps for the Netherlands.
Seedorf told a pre-match Press conference that despite some recent defeats for Atleti, he is expecting a hard game.
“Atletico have had some negative results against Real Madrid and Almeria but they are doing a great job,” the former midfielder said.
“They are very organized and have two years of playing to a very high standard. I have great respect for them.”
Seedorf went so far as to dub Atletico the favourites for the tie, adding, tongue-in-cheek, that anyone who disagrees must be from the other side of the capital.
“Seeing how Milan are and they are in the League, they are favourites to go through. Anyone who says other ways is Madridista,” Seedorf joked.
Seedorf also confirmed he has spoken to his former Milan Coach and the current Madrid incumbent Carlo Ancelotti about the opposition, but added Ancelotti wasn’t the only person he has gone to for advice.
“I spoke with Ancelotti over Atletico, but also with others who have different points of view,” he said.
“I wish Diego Simeone the best, but not [on Wednesday],” Seedorf continued.
“He’s doing a great job. Atletico have had two very good seasons and this one is even better than the last.
“Diego Costa is a fantastic striker who was wanted by Brazil. Say no more.”