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Atlético soul leaves Simeone smiling

Diego Simeone described Club Atlético de Madrid as "a team that sometimes don't play well but put their soul into the game" after the dramatic defeat of Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

Atlético coach Diego Simeone celebrates against Leverkusen
Atlético coach Diego Simeone celebrates against Leverkusen ©Getty Images

Atlético finally beat Leverkusen on penalties after 1-1 aggregate draw
Diego Simeone puts victory down to "great team work"
Atlético coach also praises performance of substitute goalkeeper Jan Oblak
Roger Schmidt blames lack of "concentration and cold blood in the shoot-out"
• Quarter-final draw in Nyon on 20 March at 12.00CET

Diego Simeone, Atlético coach
It was great teamwork. We started to move towards qualification in Germany, when we played the last 15 minutes with ten players. It was a tough game tonight. I'm proud of a group of players that always wants more.

It's not easy to practice a penalty shoot-out and we didn't. It's more about the decision of the takers and the calm of the goalkeeper. Oblak had to come into a very difficult match but he was ready. His first save [in the penalty shoot-out] was decisive and his tranquillity was awesome.

The team works very hard and always wants more. It's very difficult to be among the eight best European teams two years in a row for a side like Atlético.

All matches are the same for us. We are what people saw tonight: a team that sometimes don't play well but put their soul into the game. This victory gives us inner strength to keep on competing in every match.

Fernando Torres on 'special night'

Roger Schmidt, Leverkusen coach
I want to congratulate Atlético on their qualification. The match was played at full pelt. I want to congratulate my team too. We defended very well after the early Atlético goal. We are a young team without too much experience and it's not easy to survive in a stadium like the Vicente Calderón. We did not have enough concentration and cold blood in the penalty shoot-out.

The physical game of Atlético is part of football and something that has brought them a lot of success in recent years. This is a very positive mentality. It was a very intense match with few chances and for that reason it was important we were competitive.

The disappointment is big and there is a lot of sadness because we didn't get the result we wanted. My players did their best on the pitch and they must accept the result. Now they must be focused on the Bundesliga to qualify for next season's UEFA Champions League.

I'm very happy because I found five volunteers to take the penalties. I tried to choose a safe player for the first one and another safe player for the last one but it didn't work.

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