Atletico Madrid’s new signing Emre Belozoglu believes his side have the potential to push Real Madrid and Barcelona all the way in the 2012/13 La Liga campaign.
Diego Simeone’s men finished fifth last season, 44 points behind their city rivals in first, but they did win 12 consecutive European games on their way to a second Europa League title in three years and Emre is confident they can transform that success onto the domestic front.
He told the club’s website:
“Madrid and Barcelona are strong, but we are Atleti and we can also be strong.
“We have a coach who doesn’t like to lose and tactically we are good. If we work hard we can be at this level.”
The Turkey midfielder, who arrived in the Spanish capital three weeks ago, is adjusting to life in Madrid and says his new team-mates have helped him settle.
“Since the day I signed I have been very happy,” the 31-year-old added. “I have been here three weeks and I am content.
“There is a good group and we are all friends. Be it big players or small, we all respect each other and my first impressions have been very good.”
Meanwhile, Los Rojiblancos have confirmed midfielder Ruben Micael will join Braga on a season-long loan deal.
The Portuguese, who was part of Paulo Bento’s squad at the European Championship, arrived at Atletico last year for 5.5million euros from Porto as part of the deal that brought Radamel Falcao to the club.
However, he is yet to play for the capital club as he was also loaned out to Real Zaragoza last term.