Diego Simeone lauds Atletico Madrid after reaching fourth straight Champions League quarter-final
Last Updated: 15/03/17 11:56pm
Diego Simeone lauded Atletico Madrid's determination to keep making their mark on the Champions League after they reached the quarter-finals for a fourth consecutive season.
Simeone's men have lost out in the final to rivals Real Madrid in two of the past three seasons.
However, they have another chance at Champions League glory as a goalless draw with Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday sealed a 4-2 aggregate victory, and a place in Friday's draw.
"Firstly there is joy," said Simeone, who maintained his flawless last-16 record.
"It shows the great effort the club and, above all, the players have made in the way they have competed and given their heart and soul in the past four years.
"Everyone has done their bit to be amongst the top eight teams in Europe."
Atletico were far from their best at the Vicente Calderon as they relied on a stunning triple save from goalkeeper Jan Oblak to prevent just a second Champions League defeat in the past four seasons.
However, the Spanish side got the job done in Germany three weeks ago thanks to goals from Saul Niguez, Antoine Griezmann, Kevin Gameiro and Fernando Torres.
"We didn't need to attack like crazy," said Atletico's top scorer Griezmann.
"We tried to see the game out at the back and that is what we did. We are in the quarter-finals and we are all happy."
Another European reunion with Real is one of seven possible opponents for Atletico in the last eight along with Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Monaco, Leicester City and Juventus.
"Now hopefully we can get a good draw and through to the semis," added Griezmann.
"We have to show every year we are among the best teams in Europe and every year we achieve it."