Jose Maria Gimenez has explained how he is ‘dying’ to win the Champions League with Atletico Madrid this season.
The Uruguayan defender is one of the club’s four captains this season and his role has gained even greater significance following a number of summer exits, including defensive partner Diego Godin.
Gimenez has explained how recent near misses – 2014 and 2016 final defeats to Real Madrid – has made Atleti even more determined to lift the trophy this time round.
“It is not an obsession, but I am dying to win it,” Gimenez replied when asked about the Champions League, by Diario AS.
“We were close twice but football is like that: it is beautiful but when it hits you it hits you ugly. You have to be prepared for everything and when it hits you it makes you strong.
“We have many new teammates and we try to show them what it means to us at Atleti, the Champions and La Liga. Obsession would be very hard to say but we do have a brutal desire to win it.
“We always have pressure here when we wear an Atleti shirt, we are forced to compete and to try to win all important competitions, that mentality is instilled n you very early.
“Being one of the captains here is a great honour, an incredible pride…it is a responsibility that I find to be very beautiful.
“I have never thought about leaving this club despite having a lot of offers, my head had always been here and I love this club – I am happy in Madrid, at Atleti and there is no possibility of leaving.”