Atletico Madrid right-back Juanfran believes “sooner or later we will win the Champions League” – the only trophy which has eluded Los Colchoneros.
Atleti will be hoping for repeat of the 2013-14 season in their quarter-final against Barcelona, having defeated the Catalans 2-1 on aggregate en route to an eventual final with city rivals Real Madrid, and Juanfran insists his side “have to beat the best” in order to lift a maiden European cup.
“To make it to the final, you have to beat the best,” he told UEFA.com.
“[Barca’s] three front men they have – and especially [Lionel] Messi, who is simply the best – would not be as successful without the rest of the team.
“Barcelona have great players in every position. But we need to be optimistic, and we know that if we play our best we have a chance.
“We’ll continue to have fantastic nights at the Calderon because our supporters believe in us, and we believe that things will go well and we'll make it from round to round.
“There's a fantastic sense of unity at the Calderon which is great and important for us.
“Antoine [Griezmann] is a great footballer, and he has developed into a fantastic player here – one of the best in the world.
“It took him a bit of time to adapt, but starting from December and January last year he took some big steps forward to become the player he is now – a real Atletico player; a player who really makes a difference.
“He came here as a young lad, and for me, Antoine is a man now.
“Friendly matches, pre-season matches, League matches or Champions League matches … our aim is always to win, and give everything we have for the shirt we wear.
“The Champions League is different. It’s something special, and it's something we've not been able to win before.
“So let's hope, and I’m convinced that sooner or later we will win the Champions League.”