Tiago Mendes believes he may be in the best form of his career and agrees Atletico Madrid’s recent performances had something of the ‘old’ team to them.

Atletico beat Valencia at Vicente Calderon this weekend and veteran Tiago echoed the sentiments of Diego Simeone, who suggested it was the team’s best display of the season.

“To be honest, yes, it was a very complete game,” he said, AS reports.

“We did very well in the game, scored two goals and had chances to score more. The group is getting better. The new signings are increasingly adapted and we were very happy about the Valencia match.

“We always want to improve but the feeling with which we left the Calderon is that the team is very good. We pressed high. The midfield was incredible, so I was satisfied, very much so.

“I think it was [like the old Atletico]. Gabi won a lot of balls and that gave me enthusiasm, he gave me strength. [Yannick Ferreira] Carrasco and Koke also did a tremendous job.

“We were at a very high level, so I was happy. We knew that game was going to require a lot. Valencia have very good players. Nuno Santo picked four midfielders to try and fight for the second ball but Sunday was our day.

“Carrasco’s goal was amazing. He has a lot of speed and he looks for the goal at all times. He can give this team a lot, especially goals and hard work. He was well positioned and won back a lot of balls.

“We have a lot of good players and they are adapting better and better. That gives us life as a team.

“Of course, Jackson Martinez scoring, that always helps a striker. But he works. That’s always been the same and even though he hasn’t scored, he’s worked a lot.”

Tiago concluded by assessing the season so far in terms of a potential title challenge, before reflecting on himself.

“It’s only nine games but we’re only two points behind Real Madrid and Barcelona,” he pointed out.

“I believe they play in another League now and I can’t think otherwise. But the truth is the sensations of the team are getting better and hopefully we can be close to them until the end of the season.

“I want to say yes, this is my best form. I feel very good, but credit goes to the team and the players who are with me. Those in defence and in attack. They help me a lot, make it very easy, and I think that is the secret.”

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