‘Value the shirt’, orders Cholo

Diego Simeone has called on his Atletico Madrid side to ‘value the shirt’ and give a performance of passion against Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday.

Los Colchoneros lead the Bundesliga outfit 4-2 from the first leg in Germany and are strong favourites to advance to the last eight of the competition, where they have lost two of the last three finals.

"I always interpret the games in just one way, it does not matter what the competition is," Simeone told his pre-match press conference.

“We must value the shirt we put on. From there, whether in the Copa del Rey, a friendly or the Champions League final, we always play with the same intention. That will not change tomorrow.

"We always want the team to show up, and the crowd to get the atmosphere going. Being among Europe's top eight gives you the motivation, not the coach, it should come from inside.

"With the characteristics of the players we have in the team, and looking for the best alternatives to do them damage – we have trained in a certain way, and tomorrow you will see who starts the game.

"We are against an opponent who will be dangerous, they have fast players in attack, and are dangerous on the break. I expect a similar game to the first leg.

"Not just after Barca (comeback against PSG), I say this always. We must be on guard, start the game strong, and bring the game to where we feel best."

Tags Bayer Leverkusen Diego Simeone