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Familiarity breeds caution for Barça, Atlético

Published: Friday 21 March 2014, 15.38CET
While Víctor Valdés reflected on "a difficult draw" for FC Barcelona, Club Atlético de Madrid will look to profit from the extensive experience of David Villa in a "special" tie.
 
 
 
Published: Friday 21 March 2014, 15.38CET

Familiarity breeds caution for Barça, Atlético

While Víctor Valdés reflected on "a difficult draw" for FC Barcelona, Club Atlético de Madrid will look to profit from the extensive experience of David Villa in a "special" tie.

FC Barcelona and Club Atlético de Madrid have never met in continental competition although both are already well aquainted with Spanish opposition in Europe. While Barça – bidding to reach a seventh successive semi-final – have been involved in 11 UEFA ties against teams from their own country, this will be Atlético's seventh such contest. Barcelona, however, will need to improve on a record of three wins in nine home matches against Liga sides, against an Atlético outfit unbeaten in their last two away games against Spanish clubs having lost the first four.

Víctor Valdés, Barcelona goalkeeper
Knowing that all the teams in the quarter-finals were group stage winners, it was always going to be a difficult draw whoever we got. [Atlético] have already shown this season when they played us that they are a very hard-working and dangerous group. You can see the influence that [coach Diego] Simeone has had on them. They take advantage of dead-ball situations which is something we have had trouble dealing with this season. Having said that, if we play our usual game and [don't concede in the first leg], we will have the chance to get through.

Andoni Zubizarreta, Barcelona sporting director
We will do our best to get through. The fact Atlético are among this, the strongest ever quarter-final lineup, means a great deal. They are all great ties containing great football clubs. We would like to look on our draw positively. We got past the hardest side in the round of 16 – [Manchester] City [FC] – and now here we are. In the next two months, everything will be decided [in terms of trophies].

Clemente Valverde, Atlético director
All eight teams in the draw were very strong. There was always going to be the possibility of a tie between Spanish sides. We have drawn Barça and will look to get through. If you look at the recent games between the teams there have been a lot of draws. Every game represents a different story and we will go into these matches just as we have up until now this season. We are a team who bases its work on solidarity and persistence and we are uncomfortable rivals for any side.

Gabi, Atlético captain
In Barcelona, we've drawn the best team. They have shown why over the past years, but we will have our chances [against them]. We are going to fight. They are the favourites [to go through]. If I were to say that Atlético were favourites, people would tell me I was crazy. The first game [at Camp Nou] will be decisive. We are not going to change [our style]. We will play for our lives at Camp Nou. We have a lot of hard work ahead of us.

[David Villa] has extensive experience of these types of games and this one was always going to be special for him. We want to do the best that we can. Against a team as powerful as Barcelona it will be hard, especially away from home. Their statistics over the past decade make Barça favourites, although people are going to accuse me of playing the victim. We are a physically powerful side and will prepare for these games as we have the previous ones.

Last updated: 21/03/14 18.18CET

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