Martino: Calderon a minor detail

Tata Martino has rejected the suggestion that the Vicente Calderon crowd played a role in Atletico Madrid’s win over Barcelona.

Atletico took a 1-0 win on Wednesday night to claim a 2-1 aggregate victory and eliminate Barca from the Champions League quarter-finals.

The game was played in front of a packed Calderon that maintained an awe-inspiring noise for the full 90 minutes of the match but Martino has said that coming from Argentina, such intensity doesn’t affect him.

“Coming from where I come from it’s a minor detail,” Marca reports Martino telling a post-match Press conference.

“Compared to what is customary here, it’s different.

“They said that about the environment in Glasgow and Manchester but at Boca, River, Newell’s it’s another story.

“You need to take a trip there and corroborate what I say.”

It was put to Martino that Barca could do with assuming some characteristics of the Atletico side that has now reached the final four of the European Cup while sitting top of the League table.

“There’s no possibility that Barca can incorporate the good things Atletico do,” Martino replied.

“And the same is true the other way. They are diametrically opposing teams. They present themselves differently.

“We can’t play the way Atletico do. If we’re going to succeed it’s as we have for the last 15 years.”

Barca’s 1-0 defeat was the first time this season the sides have been separated by more than penalties after four draws in their four meetings this year.

Martino insisted that there was still very little between the teams and believes on another day it would have been Barca progressing.

“The five games have gone pretty much the same way. Beyond that for the first time there was a winner, there was little difference,” he said.

“I have no great expectations that the game could have gone differently. They won because today they had an intensity we didn’t.

“The first 20 minutes was a big difference. It was the style of Atletico.”

Martino was also questioned about his decision to field Lionel Messi on the right wing after what some felt was a peripheral contribution from the Argentine.

“We analyse the collective. If we work at our best collectively then there are more opportunities for the individual,” Martino countered.

“We wanted him to get one on one on the right. From there he didn’t have much participation but did have two chances early in the second-half.

“The kind of marking Atletico use meant we felt it unwise for Messi to have excessive involvement. We didn’t base everything on the position of Leo.

“All of this is cute thinking but then the game comes and ruins everything.”

Martino was asked if the defeat would have ramifications for Barca’s intentions of retaining the League title. Not so, he replied.

“We’ll be sad for this result but we will continue forward,” Martino continued.

“The good part is that the team made it to 35 days from the end of the season with possibilities in all three competitions.

“These guys are used to this. The important thing is we keep competing.”

Tags Tata Martino