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Godín on Atlético's staunch defence, PSV tie

Diego Godín has helped Atlético Madrid keep 13 clean sheets in his 24 UEFA Champions League outings for the club and he discusses their defensive record and trip to PSV Eindhoven.

Godín: First leg in Eindhoven will be ‘decisive’

There is no doubt Atlético Madrid's fine season has been built from the back and few personify that more than Diego Godín.

At Atlético since 2010, the central defender is one of only five Rojiblancos that played in the UEFA Champions League final two years ago still at the club. Godín, whose goal so nearly won that Lisbon decider for Atlético against Real Madrid, is ever-present in the competition this term and at PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday he will feature in the round of 16 for the third season running – hoping to emulate victories over AC Milan and Bayer Leverkusen, not to mention old club Villarreal's 2008/09 elimination of Panathinaikos at this stage.

Godín has so far appeared in 24 UEFA Champions League matches for Atlético, recording 13 clean sheets. The Uruguayan international, who turned 30 last Tuesday, spoke to UEFA.com about the PSV tie and Atleti's superb defensive stats.

UEFA.com: You are chasing a third straight round of 16 win; how does your mindset have to change once you enter the knockout phase?

Diego Godín: Well, we are approaching it the same way as always, very seriously and knowing it will be pretty tough. Last season we managed to get past Bayer Leverkusen – people thought it would be easy for us but in this competition there are no easy opponents. On the contrary, all the teams that have made it into the last 16 have qualified because they did really well negotiating six matches successfully. And any one of them would be a tough opponent now.

This time we have to play PSV. They are a good team and they managed to progress from a tough group. They also have a young and talented side that like to attack and impose their game. It will be a tough tie, as it was last season, like it always is. But we will take it seriously and approach it with the excitement we always have for this competition.

Watch: the 2014 final

UEFA.com: What do you think of PSV?

Godín: As I said, we're treating this tie with the utmost seriousness and above all with respect for what they have achieved. PSV qualified from a very difficult group, they've made it to the last 16 for a reason. They have a young team and they try to impose their game with their fast young players.

For us, we know the first leg there will be decisive. We know that in two-legged ties the first leg is pretty decisive as it defines how you will play the second leg and how you can achieve the right result. So we will be completely focused on that first leg. And then at home, with our fans behind us, we will play according to the result in the Netherlands.

Highlights: Benfica 1-2 Atlético

UEFA.com: After 20 Liga games Atlético had conceded just eight goals, and you let in only three in the UEFA Champions League group stage – why is this team so difficult to score against?

Godín: It's all about team work, and not just about the goalkeeper, the defenders or the central midfielders, who are the ones in the spotlight when you talk about goals conceded or defensive work. Atlético Madrid have the mentality that the whole team defend, that the whole team work hard to succeed in marking players and not letting opponents get close to goal and score.

That's the strength we have which gives us positive results and means we play and do better. Then obviously individual performances go hand in hand with the performance of the whole team – special individual efforts from our goalkeeper through to our striker [Antoine] Griezmann.

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