Atletico’s Torres ready to battle against Bayern


Munich (Germany) (AFP) – Striker Fernando Torres says Atletico Madrid are ready for “a battle” at Bayern Munich in Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final, second-leg, to keep their Milan dream alive.

Diego Simeone’s Atletico arrived in Munich holding a 1-0 lead from the first leg thanks to Saul Niguez’s solo winner in last Wednesday’s 1-0 victory in Madrid.

Atletico are bidding to reach the Champions League final on May 28 in Milan having lost 4-1 after extra-time in the 2014 final to neighbours Real Madrid.

Spain international Torres says they will do everything to ensure Bayern coach Pep Guardiola signs off his third and final year in Munich with a third defeat to Spanish opposition in the European semi-finals.

“We’d die for each other, we fight for each other on the field and it’ll be a another battle against Bayern tomorrow,” said Torres.

The 32-year-old is enjoying a new lease of life at Atletico having played in 10 of Madrid’s European games this season and says the secret to their success is simply hard work. 

“The most important thing is that we know who we are and that we are nothing unless we work as a team,” he said.

“We’ve conceded one of the fewest amount of goals in Europe this season and we score in nearly every game, so if you put the two together, it’s a good combination.

“I enjoy every day and every game and when I see young players who play at the highest level, it’s wonderful and you have to learn from their attitude.

“I am thankful to be back here with Atletico, but tomorrow, we are going to play a very important game which we want to win.”

With centre-back Diego Godin, the cornerstone of the Atletico defence, back from a hamstring injury, Simeone refused to be drawn as to whether he would start the Uruguay international.

“we are lucky in that we have four good defenders available to us,” said the Atletico coach with Lucas Hernandez, Stefan Savic and Jose Maria Gimenez also bidding for a starting berth.

“In the first leg we played in a way that feels good for us.

“The work we have done these past four-and-a-half-years is slowly paying off.

“We have some new players and it is really great to work with them.

“I am nervous before every game.

“We have to see what line-up Bayern use tomorrow, but we want to win tomorrow, play our football and to be successful.”

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