Pinto: Atletico have the advantage

Jose Pinto has conceded Atletico Madrid hold an advantage over Barcelona in their Champions League tie but stopped short of saying they are favourites.

The sides drew 1-1 on Tuesday in the first-leg of the quarter-final after a long-range Diego Ribas goal but Atletico in front.

Neymar equalised for Barca and Pinto was asked after the match for his view of Ribas’ opener.

“How did I see it? With my eyes,” Pinto replied, laughing.

“I saw him opening up for the shot and it went in the top corner.

“Could I have done more? Who knows. I did everything I could to stop it.”

Every game played between Barca and Atletico this season has ended in a draw and Pinto predicted that the smallest thing will determine who reaches the semi-final.

“We have drawn with them a lot. I think that means there is great competition,” the goalkeeper continued.

“A single detail could make the difference for one side or another.

“We leave with a result that’s against us but we’ll give our all in the return leg.”

Pinto expanded on his suggestion that the score line is one that hampers Barca.

“Atletico have an advantage because of the score,” he added.

“The away goal is important. I wouldn’t call them the favourites but they have an advantage.”

Pinto was starting in the game due to the injury suffered by Victor Valdes, who will miss the next seven months with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Valdes is due to leave Barca this summer at the end of his contract while Pinto’s deal is up as well.

But Pinto confirmed talks have been held regarding his future, and that they began before Valdes was ruled out.

“Any time is a good time to renew [your contract],” Pinto said.

“The club have spoken to me, that’s true. It was before Victor’s injury.

“[Sporting director Andoni] Zubizarreta told me what he thought and also after Victor’s injury.

“You’ll have to ask them if they want me to stay. I’m focused on my work.”

Tags Jose Pinto