While most teams wan to win their Champions League group so that they can play the second leg at home, Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone says that he will embrace a return leg away from home.
Los Rojiblancos drew 1-1 against Club Brugge, a result which saw Atletico finish second in the group after Borussia Dortmund’s away win at Monaco.
Playing the second game of the knockout stages is considered to be one of the great disadvantages of failing to secure the first position in the group, yet the Argentine is in favour of this outcome.
Back in 2014, when his team was asked to defend a narrow 1-0 win against Leicester City in the away return leg, Simeone highlighted the advantages of playing the second game away from home.
“Regarding being a visitor or a host, I always ask those responsible at UEFA why the one who plays the second match has more possibilities,” he said.
“Because in case of a draw, you have 30 minutes more to score a goal that counts double and that’s a lot in a knock-out tie.
“Today we play away like other times we played at home, but nobody can give me an answer.”
Atletico have reached two finals after eliminating Bayern Munich and Chelsea away, and they knocked out Barcelona twice at Atletico’s old home, the Estadio Vicente Calderon.
While fans might blame the team for failing to secure first place in the group, Simeone prefers to see the glass half full:
“I’m happy because we have reached the last 16 and that is very important for the club,” he told Movistar.”The club needed to be in the second round so we have to be happy that we are.”
“Now we must wait and see who we will play and keep trying to improve.”