Diego Simeone’s charges have already taken down holders Liverpool to seal their place in the competition’s quarter-final round
Madrid mayor Jose Luis Martínez-Almeida says that he thinks Atletico Madrid will come out on top of the Champions League this season while taking aim at referee Mark Clattenburg for his part in the club’s 2016 loss to rivals Real Madrid.
Almeida is a long-time Atletico member, and the mayor has seen his side advance to the Champions League final twice in the last decade to face off with rivals Real Madrid.
The first final came in 2014, when Sergio Ramos’ stoppage-time goal saved his side, guiding them to an eventual 4-1 victory after 120 minutes.
In 2016, the two sides faced off once again, with Real Madrid claiming the club’s 11th title after a penalty shootout.
Ramos was once again was the goalscorer for Real Madrid, but the game’s referee, Clattenburg, has since admitted that the Spanish defender’s goal should have been ruled back for offside.
And Almeida says that he would relish another clash between Madrid’s two sides, and this time he thinks Atleti will come out on top.
He added: “I am the mayor of Madrid, do not put me on the spot, but the truth is that the match ended in a 1-1 draw.”
Atletico Madrid booked their spot in this year’s quarter-final round prior to the Champions League’s suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic, taking down holders Liverpool 1-0 at home before earning a 3-2 victory over the Reds in extra time at Anfield.
And, having taken down last year’s winners, Atleti are now in prime position to push to win this season’s competitions when and if it resumes, Almeida said.
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“This will be the Champions League for Atletico,” he said. We have eliminated the champion in the strangest season. The only team that went through was Atletico (Editor’s note: PSG, Atalanta and RB Leipzig also reached the quarters prior to the competition’s interruption).”