Atletico Madrid president rejects ‘ugly soccer’ slur

Madrid (AFP) – Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has hit back at critics of the Spanish side’s defensive tactics after the club reached a second Champions League final in three years.

An incredible rearguard action against Bayern Munich saw Atletico narrowly defeated 2-1 by the German giants on Tuesday to progress on away goals after edging the first leg 1-0 last week.

“Today ugly football played against the best football in the world,” raged Bayern midfielder Arturo Vidal afterwards.

“The only time they saw the ball was their goal.”

However, Cerezo hit back. Atletico have now beaten defending European champions Barcelona and a Bayern side on the verge of their fourth Bundesliga title to reach the final.

SEE MORE: Schedule of Champions League games on US TV and live streaming

“Our football is ugly? It is marvellous and we play to win,” he told Radio Marca on Wednesday. “We are in an enviable situation.”

Atletico could face city rivals Real Madrid in the final in Milan on May 28 should Real overcome Manchester City in the other semi-final on Wednesday.

Real’s Sergio Ramos equalised deep into stoppage time to prevent Atletico winning their first-ever Champions League title in the final two years ago before Real ran out 4-1 winners after extra-time.

And having also conceded late on to Bayern in their only other final appearance in 1974, Cerezo believes Atletico are owed a bit of luck in the final.

“I always say the Champions League owes us one and possibly it is this one. It would be our first one and would round off a marvellous season,” he added.

“We have already beaten PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona and Bayern so we don’t care whoever is next.”


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