Cerezo jokes ‘Atleti are favourites’

Atletico Madrid President Enrique Cerezo was in jocular mood when questioned by journalists ahead of Wednesday’s game with Real Madrid.

Los Rojiblancos go to the Santiago Bernabeu in the role of underdogs for the Champions League quarter-final second leg tie with their cross-city rivals, having drawn the first game 0-0 last week, but Cerezo had his tongue firmly in his cheek when he spoke to reporters.

“Atletico are favourites because we are playing at home,” said Cerezo, who was also asked if Madrid would be upset because of their injuries and suspensions.

“Rich people don’t cry. Why would Madrid be crying? They have a fantastic reserve team on the bench.”

On a more serious note, Cerezo acknowledged Carlo Ancelotti’s team possess plenty of other options to replace the absent Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Karim Benzema and Marcelo.

“Fate is fate and sometimes a player who never gets injured finds himself injured just before an important game, but Madrid have the desire and courage to get over such a situation.

“We are both playing to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League. That’s a very important achievement and both clubs want to be there, so we’ll see how things turn out.”

Cerezo also touched on last year’s final of the competition in Lisbon, when Atletico went down in extra-time to Los Blancos.

“It’s all forgotten now and on Wednesday I’m expecting a hard-fought game full of emotion and plenty of nerves.

“I’m sure the players, coaches, directors and Press will all live up to the occasion,” he concluded.

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