Atletico Madrid’s Champions League obsession
Despite having progressed to the Champions League knockout stages, Atletico Madrid’s main objective this season is to finish third in LaLiga Santander.
Los Rojiblancos are aware that they have to secure qualification to Europe’s top club competition for next season to avoid any sporting and financial damages after having featured in the last seven editions.
Liverpool are their rivals in the Round of 16 and the first leg will kick off on February 18, but four days earlier they will have to travel to Mestalla to face Valencia.
Los Che are one of their main rivals for a Champions League spot and, if Atleti manage a win they will move five points ahead of them in the table.
Getafe currently sit third with 42 points, three more than Diego Simeone’s side, but Sevilla with 39 points and Real Sociedad with 37 also follow closely.
Atletico will battle until the end to knock out Liverpool, but they are aware that the Premier League leaders are superior this season.
The team’s target for the time being is to see the players who are sidelined recover from their injuries and join training with the rest of the team ahead of several crucial games.
As Simeone has stressed, this year is one of transition but Atletico already see the game against Valencia on Friday as a final.
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