Midfielder Raúl García was thrilled after marking his first start of the season with a goal as Club Atlético de Madrid started their UEFA Europa League title defence with a 3-0 Group B win at Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC. Diego Simeone's men, he warned, will not relinquish their hold on the trophy without a fight.
Raúl García, Atlético midfielder
The coach knows my abilities and I'm very happy to score on my return to the team. It's true that we arrived without a few key players, but at no point did we think the game would be simple and at no stage did we take it easy. The guys gave their all and it is clear we want to keep the title in our hands. It was not easy and the team worked hard to take the victory. If you relax everything can go wrong, we have seen that before. With hard work and humility, anything can be achieved.
Sergio Asenjo, Atletico goalkeeper
A lot of the players involved today had not played for a long time and today they showed the team could rely on them. I am working hard in training and whenever the coach tells me to play, I will give my all for the team.
Tal Ben Haim II, Hapoel forward
With all respect to Atlético, we gifted them the game. We made three mistakes and lost. That said, it is great fun to participate in European competition, something new for me.
Eric Djemba-Djemba, Hapoel midfielder
We started the game well but we made big mistakes and against a team like Atlético you very quickly pay the price. I think that our team can play to the level required and compete, but today we did not show that.
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