Godin ‘proud’ to represent Atleti

Diego Godin has revealed his pride at being entrusted with the responsibility of leading Atletico Madrid’s defence.

The Uruguayan wasted little time in becoming a key player for Los Colchoneros since his arrival from Villarreal in 2010, with last season’s La Liga the pinnacle of his achievements, but he admits he could have been a far cry from the commanding centre-back he is today.

“Our objective is to win at Leverkusen, but mainly we want to score goals at home. It’s crucial in this round of the Champions League,” he told UEFA’s official Facebook page ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 first leg against Bayer Leverkusen.

“You play as you train. We train every day to compete at the highest level and win, and I think that’s been the key [to our success].

"We’ve always appreciated both Diego Simeone and Oscar Ortega’s physical work. It’s vital for us to compete at the highest level.

“Winning the League last season was my best moment, but it’s difficult to single out just the one because I enjoy all the titles and games [we’ve won].

“There’s no better feeling than being rewarded for all your hard work.

“I started playing for Rosario Club Estudiantes when I was five, as a striker. Later, at the age of 12, I started playing more like a number 10 or as an attacking midfielder.

“At 16 I played as a defender at Club Atlético Cerro. At first I didn’t like it because I wanted to play as a striker, but then I adjusted my position and started to like it.

“To this day, I really enjoy [playing there]. I feel fine, happy and proud [to be part of Atleti’s defence].”

Tags Bayer Leverkusen Diego Godin