Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino noted that Atletico Madrid will prove to be “very tough opponents” for his team, which opens its UEFA Champions League quarterfinal series against the La Liga leader at the Camp Nou on Tuesday. Atletico, which beat Athletic Bilbao 2-1 on Sunday, is just a single point above second-place Barca in the Spanish league table.
“Atlético has been doing great things this season and last season too,” Martino said in his pre-game press conference. “They are alive in two competitions and they seem very confident and strong. In the three games against them [this season], they have proved to be a very tough opponent. We have to win and not concede any goals, that is basic when there is a return leg. The first thing we need to do is to win because then the responsibility lies with the opponent.”
The Argentine added: “I always think that if you were not courageous, you would not be where you are now. You need to be brave to play the way we do, so you can rest assured we will be brave tomorrow, guaranteed. The secret to this match is to be level on intensity with them and then our weapon is to be FC Barcelona.”