Atletico Madrid: Quinton Fortune thinks Diego Simeone's side can win La Liga again
'Los Rojiblancos don't give their opponents any respite'
Last Updated: 23/08/14 10:29am
Former Atletico Madrid midfielder Quinton Fortune told Sky Sports that the reigning La Liga champions are more than capable of retaining their title this term.
Atleti beat Barcelona and Real Madrid by three points to top the Spanish top-flight at the end of the 2013/14 campaign, conceding just 26 goals in the process.
And Diego Simeone’s men added to their trophy cabinet on Friday night by defeating Real 2-1 on aggregate to lift the Spanish Supercopa for the second time in their history.
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Atletico's only other Supercopa triumph came in 1985, when they edged Barcelona 3-2 on aggregate.
“This result shows to not just Real Madrid and Barcelona but the rest of La Liga that they are not going to give anyone an easy season,” Fortune said after Atletico’s victory at the Vicente Calderon.
“They have reached the Champions League final and won La Liga and they have definitely proved they are contenders again to win the Spanish title.
“Their system seems to be working again as they are compact, fight for every single ball and don’t give you any space.
“They have so much determination and desire, are going to put up a real fight and it is going to take something out of this world to beat them.”
Atletico lost the services of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, defender Filipe Luis and striker Diego Costa to Chelsea over the summer, while forwards Adrian and David Villa also departed, the former to Porto and the latter to New York City.
However, Sky Sports’ Spanish football expert Guillem Balague says he does not expect Los Rojiblancos to derail without their big names, and reckons Simeone’s new signings have given the side more diversity.
Atletico think they can beat anybody at the moment.
“As long as Atletico keep getting results they will continue to buy into Simeone, who keeps telling his players he will stay with them and love them as long as they are hungry,” said Balague.
“Atletico are very strong mentally, smell victories, are defending as well as ever, and they think they can beat anybody at the moment, while they also have more variety in attack now.
“They have the target man in Mario Mandzukic and the second striker in Antoine Griezmann, while Raul Jimenez is a mixture of the two and more like Diego Costa.
"He is someone you can counter attack with but also someone who has the strength to hold the ball up.”
Watch the Madrid giants’ first La Liga games of the season, live on Sky Sports 5 on Monday night. Real tackle newly-promoted Cordoba at 6.55pm, while Atletico battle Rayo Vallecano immediately after at 8.55pm.