After helping his team to their eighth consecutive Liga win with the opening goal in Sunday's 3-1 home win against CA Osasuna, Club Atlético de Madrid defender João Miranda said Los Rojiblancos "have a team that's good enough to be challenging" at the top of standings.
Diego Simeone's side are level on points with FC Barcelona at the Liga summit after nine matches and only the Azulgrana have mustered more than their haul of 22 goals. A record 16th consecutive win in European competition preceded the Osasuna triumph, against A. Académica de Coimbra on Thursday, but Miranda explained that he and his team-mates are refusing to get carried away.
"We can only really afford to enjoy this a little as we know there are very difficult games to come," the central defender said. "The team are going really well but we have to continue. My goal was important yet the most important thing was the three points."
The former São Paulo FC and FC Sochaux-Montbéliard player also paid tribute to Falcao, who netted Atlético's third of the night against Osasuna, meaning the Colombian has now registered in each of his team's last eight games, 13 times in all. "Falcao should be among the contenders for the FIFA Ballon d'Or," Miranda said. "He deserves the goals he's been scoring, which have practically come in every match. He works so hard and is playing really well."
The side from the Spanish capital will be looking to extend their club record 22-game unbeaten run – a sequence that began following a 4-1 loss at home to rivals Real Madrid CF on April 11 – at Real Jaén CF in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday. A visit to UEFA Champions League challengers Valencia CF follows next weekend.
"We realise that we're capable of fighting for big things this season but we must keep our feet on the ground, " Miranda explained. "We know that the likes of Barcelona are a great team but we are also playing for a great club. We have a team that's good enough to be challenging up there."
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