Cerezo: Atletico aren’t afraid

Atletico Madrid President Enrique Cerezo put his finger on what’s changed in Madrid derbies: “We’re not afraid of Real Madrid now.”

Cerezo, in an interview with AS, previewed the capital clash from his side’s perspective, noting that even though it’s a game that could go either way, Atletico’s mind-set when going to Santiago Bernabeu is different than it used to be.

“We’re not afraid. We have caution and respect for Madrid, yes. But fear? No,” Cerezo, who turns 68 on match day, explained.

“[Winning] would be a nice gift. The match must be played for 90 or 93 minutes, and the result in the end is worth it. But let’s go out and win the game.

“It would be a wonderful afternoon if we won. But Madrid are a great team and we respect them. They’re playing very well and are in good form at home.

“It will be a good game. There’ll be a beautiful atmosphere. Madrid want to win and so do we.

“All fans have admiration for the great players and Madrid has a lot of wonderful players, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, James Rodriguez, Isco…they’re all very good.”

Fernando Torres is in line to start and AS acknowledged an El Nino goal would be particularly popular among Rojiblancos supporters.

“I don’t know who’ll score. I’d be a fortune teller if I did. I’ll just say Atletico has a great team and a great Coach,” Cerezo replied.

“In recent derbies it was hard to beat Madrid, and also it was hard for them to beat us.

“It was difficult [when Madrid dominated the derby]. Sometimes they deserved to win and other times we had bad luck, hitting the woodwork.

“But that’s over. Now there is more equality, with titles, trophies, more even games. Either team can win.”

Tags Enrique Cerezo