Atlético 'a big challenge for us'

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Bayern and Atlético will cross swords in a European match for the first time since 1974. “We need 90 minutes and then another 90 minutes of full concentration,” according to Pep Guardiola, who knows the side lying second in the Primera División very well of course: “It's always very complicated against them.” Matthias Sammer called Atlético “passion monsters. It's a big challenge for us but we're positive.”

Reaction to Friday's draw

Matthias Sammer: “Atlético are passion monsters. Their style of play is different from ours, we have to prepare for that. We have our own weapons. The chances are fifty-fifty, form on the days in question will be decisive. It's a big challenge for us but we're positive.”

Pep Guardiola: “I know the Spanish league very well and I know how strong Atlético are. They've had the same coach for many years. They know exactly what they have to do. It's always very complicated against them. The atmosphere at the Estadio Vicente Calderón is the best in Europe, it's going to be a great experience for us. We need 90 minutes and then another 90 minutes of full concentration. Diego Simeone is one of the best coaches in the world. He’s changed the club, Atlético have reached a new level over the last five years.”

Philipp Lahm: “It's not an easy task, but that was clear beforehand. They're an aggressive team, they know how to defend, but they have their qualities in attack too. They didn't knock out Barcelona for no reason. They always stay calm, even if they all have to defend near their own box. It's going to be interesting. The good thing is that we know how to play against very, very defensive teams.”

Xabi Alonso: “They're strong opponents, a very good team. They prepare very well for every game with their coach Simeone. They defend well, and they attack well too. They play with lots of character. In the first leg we want to put ourselves in a good position for the match in Munich. The atmosphere at the Estadio Vicente Calderón is superb, but we're experienced enough.”

Andreas Jung (executive board member): “A side that beats the holders must be considered very, very strong. We haven't encountered them for a very long time. It's going to be exciting, but we'll be well prepared. Pep knows the Spanish league and Atlético very well.”

Clemente Villaverde (Atlético sporting director): “It's been a long time since we last played Bayern. They're very strong opponents. It's going to be tough. We respect Bayern a lot. We just want to enjoy the matches and we're glad we're in the Champions League semi-finals.”

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