‘Cholo told me to be calm…’

Jan Oblak has revealed the words of advice given to him by Diego Simeone and what went through his mind as Atletico Madrid beat Bayer Leverkusen.

Los Colchoneros needed penalties to get past the Bundesliga side with Oblak, a first half replacement for the injured Miguel Angel Moya, making some crucial saves.

“Simeone told me that I had to be calm and that everything would be okay,” the goalkeeper revealed, AS reports.

“I didn’t know anything about Leverkusen’s penalty takers so I had to study them. I always try to wait as long as possible [before diving]. It seemed to work well against [Hakan] Calhanoglu…”

The shootout victory and Oblak’s contribution to it was in some quarters painted as redemption for the summer signing, who has at times struggled since arriving from Benfica and plays back-up to Moya more often than not.

“If you cost €1 you have to prove yourself as if you cost €10m,” he argued.

“You always have to do well for your team. I don’t play for myself. I play for my team, no matter how much they pay for you.

“I always train to my best, to the fullest. It’s difficult, because when you don’t play you can’t always be happy. But you have to prove you deserve an opportunity and seize it.

“If you train well your chance will always come. There are games you’re not very good and others where you’re perfect.

“I was happy for us [in winning the shootout] but sad for our opponents. I know how it feels when you lose a shootout. It happened to me last year when we lost the Europa League to Sevilla on penalties. But we won and we’re through.”

Tags Diego Simeone Jan Oblak