‘Who needs megas­tars, we have team spirit’

Felipe Luis be­lieves Atletico can over­come Europe’s elite

7 Days in Dubai - - SPORT -

F ilipe Luis in­sists that his team­mates’ will­ing­ness to fight for one an­other and a lack of ego in the dress­ing room will help Atletico Madrid over­come Europe’s big spenders and land a first ever Cham­pi­ons League ti­tle.

Atletico shocked Span­ish ri­vals Barcelona in the quar­ter-fi­nals and now face an­other of Europe’s most pow­er­ful clubs in Bay­ern Mu­nich.

The Ger­man cham­pi­ons are the fifth rich­est foot­ball club in the world - ac­cord­ing to a re­cent re­port by Deloitte - and have a squad lit­tered with su­per­stars.

Yet Luis be­lieves Atletico can cause an­other up­set and reach a third Euro­pean Cup fi­nal.

“We don’t have a megas­tar, we have a team where ev­ery­one runs, ev­ery­one fights for the player next to them, and that makes us stronger,” said Luis.

“The team thinks a lot col­lec­tively, no­body thinks in­di­vid­u­ally, that’s the most pos­i­tive things that we have.

“We’ve had a lot of bad and good mo­ments in the sea­son and now we are stable, we have play­ers who are get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter.

“Look at what is hap­pen­ing this year with Le­ices­ter, they are a mod­est team and are al­most cham­pi­ons in the Premier League. Epic things hap­pen in foot­ball. Although there’s a dif­fer­ence in our bud­gets we are the team that plays most as a team.”

One player who knows ex­actly how tough it will be to over­come Atletico is Bay­ern’s for­mer Real Madrid mid­fielder Xabi Alonso.

The 34-year-old ex­pects two tight games but made it clear that Bay­ern will be look­ing to claim an ad­van­tage by go­ing for the win in the first-leg of the semi-fi­nal at the Vi­cente Calderon.

“I think it’s go­ing to be an evenly bal­anced match,” said Alonso. “Atletico are among the Euro­pean foot­balling elite. If we’re not 100 per­cent ready it’ll be dif­fi­cult to go through.

“The de­fence is clearly one of their strengths, but it’s not only that. Atletico know how to play foot­ball and are very dan­ger­ous in at­tack.

“We have to be clever. We know that we’ll play at least 180 min­utes, but we won’t play for a draw in Madrid. It’s our men­tal­ity to go for a win.”

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