‘The fans are Atleti’s 12th man’

Atletico Madrid midfielder Mario Suarez has praised the club’s supporters for their backing this season.

Suarez has spoken to Marca ahead of Atletico’s Champions League semi-final with Chelsea, the first-leg taking place on Tuesday, and echoed the comments of Coach Diego Simeone.

“As the Coach says, we face another final. It’s an important game for the club, for us, which we have to play over two legs to get to a final,” Suarez said.

“We know that in this kind of time the first game is always important and we play at home with our fans, who are our 12th man.

“When I was in the cantera and went to the ground to cheer the first team I never had the opportunity to do it in a Champions League semi-final.

“I hope it’s a very enjoyable game and all the fans enjoy this season as they come out. We need them a lot and it helps us when they enjoy themselves.

“It will be very special as a home-grown player but I think for all Atleticos it will be very beautiful and very special.

“I don’t know how to put a value on the game, if it’s the most important or fifth most important in the club’s history.

“What I do know is that it’s important we have achieved a lot with our identity, which is work, commitment and sacrifice. We will fight to win and we are looking forward to this very nice game.

“We win by giving 120%, being together, running to our maximum, with great sacrifice and a lot of intensity. We have to do things right.

“The important thing is we do things right and overcome all adversities and emerge victorious.

“We’re excited but game by game is the mentality brought to us by Cholo. Now he says it’s final by final so we have raised our level.

“The fans are player No. 12 and their songs make your legs run more when you’re tired. They are super important to us.

“We have to face every game in this situation like Gabi said, as the game of our lives, a final to win without thinking beyond that.”

Tags Chelsea Mario Suarez