‘Atleti can beat Madrid again’

Atletico Madrid legend Jose Eulogio Garate believes Los Colchoneros can maintain their excellent record against Real Madrid this week.

The sides meet in the Champions League quarter-finals, a repeat of the final of last year’s tournament, won 4-1 by Los Blancos after extra time.

Garate, who made more than 300 appearances for Atletico, scoring over 100 goals, has spoken to AS ahead of the match and the interview began be comparing his playing days – the 1960s and 70s – to today, as he won the Pichichi with 14, 16 and 17 goals in a season.

“Cristiano Ronaldo almost scores as many as I did in a match! But you can’t compare,” Garate replied.

“Before there were 16 teams, 30 games, and today there are 38. And a lot of penalties. But Cristiano can score five goals in a game, something others don’t do all season.

“I’ve seen so many great Atletico strikers. The centre-forwards in the last decade have been exceptional…[Diego] Forlan, [Sergio] Aguero, [Radamel] Falcao, [Diego] Costa…I would have liked to play with them!

“[Diego] Simeone has perfected Atletico. He changed the mentality to something amazing. Atletico give 120% on the field. I love their solidarity. And their individuality.

“The 4-0 win over Madrid was an extraordinary result for all Atletico fans. And, mind you, that 4-0 can help us look optimistically to the Champions League.

“It’ll be difficult. But Atletico can cause an upset and beat Madrid. Until three years ago, playing Atletico had no significance for them. But now Atletico has the hang of it. [Madrid] are worried emotionally.”

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