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Atlético v Bayern Reaction

bayernvatletiBayern Munich have lost against Spanish opposition at this stage in the past two years, with Pep Guardiola calling Atlético Madrid a “special side” as he looks to make it third time lucky.

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Josep Guardiola, Bayern coach

We have seen what kind of a special side Atlético are – they have a strong defence and strong attack. They have a great heart. For me, Barcelona remain the best team in Europe, regardless of whether they are in the semi-finals or not, but in recent years Atlético twice managed to beat them. That shows how difficult this will be.

Atlético know exactly what they have to do in defence. If they do not play to their best on a certain day, they are still solid. They have conceded so few goals in recent years because their structure is so good. They press aggressively and if they do not win the ball back, they retreat deep and play very compact. The atmosphere in the Vicente Calderón is the best in Europe.

Xabi Alonso, Bayern midfielder
We are coming up against strong opponents. Under Diego Simeone, Atlético have been very strong and well prepared for every match. But we know them well already and will analyse them further. Atlético concede few goals and they have a fantastic atmosphere at home. But if we play well, the atmosphere shouldn’t be a problem. We need to focus on what happens on the pitch.

José Luis Caminero, Atlético sporting director
We’re up against one of the most successful clubs in Europe, who are used to being in the semi-finals. It will be a difficult tie, but we’ll compete the best we can, as we always do.

Clemente Villaverde, Atlético director
It’s a privilege to be able to play a semi-final against a team of Bayern’s quality. Atlético have demonstrated they have the ability to come through games like these. I hope we can maintain that now. They are two very open semi-finals and are good for Spanish football, because I hope we can have another all-Spanish final [like 2014].

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