Atleti ‘not daunted’ by city rivals

Atletico Madrid director Clemente Villaverde insisted the club were excited rather than daunted by facing Real Madrid in the Champions League last four.

Diego Simeone has only ever lost to Atletico’s city rivals in the competition – losing each tie in the last three seasons, two of which have been finals – but Villaverde insists his club now ‘has the mentality’ to progress.

"Is there negativity following the draw? Not at all,” he explained to

“Our fans and our players have known how to come back from playing two Champions League finals and losing them.

"They are aware of what it means to be here, and the effort that is needed to get here. They have the mentality that is required.

"We feel positive to be here enjoying a semi-final of Champions League for the third time in four years. We are proud of the team and all that Atletico Madrid means.

“Is the second leg at home an advantage? You never know.

"For sure, the two games will be different. You have to adapt to each game and know how to read the opportunities that arise.

"We are happy at how we are developing over the season — we are happy at how the team is arriving at the end of the season."

Tags Clemente Villaverde