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PSV galvanised for Atlético games

PSV coach Phillip Cocu says Atlético Madrid pose "a fantastic challenge" to his side, although Clemente Villaverde is taking nothing for granted against the Dutch champions.

PSV coach Phillip Cocu
PSV coach Phillip Cocu ©Getty Images
  • First leg: PSV v Atlético, Wednesday 24 February
  • Second leg: Atlético v PSV, Tuesday 15 March


Phillip Cocu, PSV coach
It's a great tie and we have to do our utmost to hit our peak and get to the required level. I can understand why Atlético weren't really coveted by our fans; a lot of people see Barcelona and Bayern as world-class because those are the sides that catch the eye.

For a lot of fans Atlético aren't that yet, but they have performed superbly in recent years and reached a very high level. They are a true unit, defensively extremely solid. They give few chances away and are physically strong. It is a very tough draw, but at the same time a fantastic challenge again.

Jeffrey Bruma, PSV defender
Atlético are a top team with fantastic players. They're a well-organised side and we will have to arm ourselves against that. Being realistic, Atlético are the better team in theory, but we are certainly not without a chance.

We could have drawn worse so we have to look on the bright side. I think they will be happy with us. For us, it might be an advantage if they see us as underdogs, but I doubt that with a clever coach like Diego Simeone. They really fight for each other, run for each other and fix each other's mistakes. They will be red-hot matches and I like that.

Clemente Villaverde, Atlético general manager
We're happy first of all to be part of the draw. It's very important for the club, having been here for the last three seasons and now getting past the group stage. So that's obviously our first satisfaction, being here. As luck would have it, we are paired against PSV, which will be a very open and well-fought tie.

At this level of competition, there aren't many weaker opponents. If a team has qualified to be among the best 16 in Europe, that means something, so PSV are here because they deserve to be and it will be a very difficult tie.

The work we've been doing these past few years, going step by step, with modesty and hard work, believing in our own credentials and understanding the type of football that defines us – that's the biggest result: believing in this style, this way of understanding the game and doing things accordingly.

Sergio Agüero struck twice the last time the sides were paired
Sergio Agüero struck twice the last time the sides were paired©Getty Images


  • Atlético beat PSV twice in the 2008/09 group stage. Sergio Agüero scored twice (9, 36) with Maniche (54) getting the other goal in Eindhoven; Simão (14) and Maxi Rodríguez (28) struck at the Vicente Calderón with Danny Koevermans (47) replying for the visitors.
  • PSV's overall record against Spanish sides is W4 D10 L10; Atlético have won five and lost four of their ten matches against Eredivisie clubs.
  • Atlético have won four of their five home games against Dutch clubs although that sole defeat proved costly. Ajax triumphed 3-2 in Madrid in the 1996/97 UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg, prevailing 4-3 on aggregate.
  • PSV have won just one of their last 16 fixtures against Spanish teams, losing seven and drawing eight.

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