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Mario Mandzukic admits being too emotional but considers his aggression an asset

Atletico Madrid striker Mario Mandzukic considers his aggression an asset and says he has no hard feelings towards Real Madrid defenders Dani Carvajal and Sergio Ramos after being involved with incidents with both players earlier this week.

Mandzukic rarely speaks to the media, but elected to give an interview to the Croatian newspaper Sportske Novosti where he gave some insight into his fierce playing style that borders on out of control at times.

On Tuesday, the Croatia international was seen screaming his discontent at referee Milorad Mazic after the official appeared to miss an elbow from Sergio Ramos which opened a cut above the striker’s eye.

Later in the Champions League quarter-final, Mandzukic was involved in an incident with right-back Dani Carvajal where the defender appeared to bite, then punch, the Atletico Madrid striker.

Following the match, UEFA confirmed Carvajal would face no further punishment and Mandzukic himself tweeted his defense of the Real Madrid player.

Speaking to Sportske Novosti, Mandzukic shed more light on Tuesday’s first leg at the Vicente Calderon, as well as his mindset on match day.

“It was an all-out battle,” the Croatian said. “Real were the better team in the first half, but they missed their chances and now it’s back to square one.

“The coach will outline his take on the game, pointing out what we did wrong and how to remedy it.”

The striker was then asked about his ongoing ‘discussions’ with his opponents and the match referee.

“Maybe I’m too emotional in my reactions, especially when I feel I’ve been hard done by,” Mandzukic continued. “That happens in the heat of the battle.

“Everyone is fighting for their team, giving 100%. As far as I’m concerned, though, it’s all forgotten after the whistle.”

Mandzukic then responded to the incidents between himself and the two Real Madrid defenders on Tuesday.

“I was telling the truth [about Carvajal not biting him]. We had a duel but there was no bite,” the striker added.

“I don’t feel there was any intent [from Sergio Ramos] to hurt me.

“Like I said before, sometimes I react emotionally, maybe unconsciously so, when my adrenaline starts rushing. I’m aware that I have to mellow a bit, while at the same time maintaining that sense of positive aggression which I consider one of my assets.”

Programming note: Deportivo La Coruña vs. Atletico Madrid will be shown LIVE on Saturday starting at 11:55am EST on beIN SPORTS en Español and fuboTV.

 

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