ATLETICO READY TO BE KINGS OF EU­ROPE

Atletico Madrid be­lieve they can be kings of Eu­rope

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F ilipe Luis be­lieves an emo­tion­ally charged Atletico Madrid side can cre­ate his­tory by over­com­ing Bay­ern Mu­nich and go­ing on to win the Cham­pi­ons League for the very first time.

The Span­ish side have twice lost in Euro­pean Cup fi­nals, the most re­cent de­feat com­ing at the hands of Real Madrid two years ago in Lis­bon.

But Atletico are once again on the verge of reach­ing the fi­nal af­ter se­cur­ing a 1-0 vic­tory over Bay­ern Mu­nich in the semi-fi­nal first leg.

That slen­der ad­van­tage will be se­verely tested in Ger­many tonight, but Luis be­lieves that by over­com­ing Barcelona in the quar­ter-fi­nals the squad has re­newed be­lief that they can be­come the kings of Eu­rope.

“It wasn’t just any Barcelona team that we beat - this Barcelona side never stops scor­ing,” said Luis. “So we’ve gained a lot of con­fi­dence for these fi­nal stages of the com­pe­ti­tion.

“There is a lot of emo­tion in­volved now that we can reach an­other fi­nal.

“From a very young age, I have dreamed of win­ning this trophy - lift­ing it, kiss­ing it and tak­ing a pic­ture with it. We were very close and only in rare cases do you get an­other op­por­tu­nity, like now.

“We hope to go down in his­tory and win this trophy.”

While Atletico come in to the game full of be­lief, the Bay­ern play­ers are de­ter­mined to de­liver at the Al­lianz Arena af­ter a dis­ap­point­ing re­sult at the week­end.

Pep Guardi­ola’s side had the chance to wrap up the league ti­tle on Satur­day but could only man­age a 1-1 draw with Borus­sia Monchenglad­bach - a re­sult that left Bay­ern five points clear of Borus­sia Dort­mund with two games of the sea­son left to play.

Bay­ern now have the chance to over­come their frus­tra­tion by beat­ing Atletico and reach­ing an­other Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal.

“We’re in for a tough chal­lenge, but af­ter all we’re Bay­ern,” said for­ward Thomas Muller. “It’s a Cham­pi­ons League home match and I think our record is quite de­cent in that re­spect. We have to be on fire.”

Cer­tainly the omens are not good for Bay­ern who have ex­ited the com­pe­ti­tion to Span­ish op­po­si­tion at the semi-fi­nal stage in both of the last two sea­sons, los­ing to Real Madrid in 2014 and Barcelona in 2015.

“From a very young age, I have dreamed of win­ning this trophy. - lift­ing it, kiss­ing it.” – FILIPE LUIS

FI­NAL AT STAKE: Atletico’s Filipe Luis bat­tles with Bay­ern’s Kings­ley Co­man dur­ing the semi-fi­nal first leg

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