Atletico Madrid deserves to win this season’s Champions League after twice suffering heartbreak in the final, according to on-loan winger Yannick Carrasco.
Diego Simeone’s side lost in extra-time in the 2013-14 showpiece and on penalties two years later, both times against city rivals Real Madrid.
Atleti knocked out holders Liverpool 4-2 on aggregate in March and now take on RB Leipzig in a one-legged quarter-final in Lisbon on Thursday.
And Carrasco, who scored against Madrid in the most recent of Atletico’s final appearances, is hoping it can be third time lucky for his side in the condensed competition. Atleti also came second in the 1973-74 European Cup.
“It’s true that Atletico deserves a Champions League after losing two finals in such difficult circumstances,” he told Marca.
“After being ahead and conceding in the last minute in the first and then losing on penalties in the second, I think Atletico deserve to win this trophy.
“We respect RB Leipzig – they’re a good, competitive team. They finished third in Germany, which means they’re a good side.
“It’ll be a difficult match and we’ll need to know how to hurt them to win the match.”
Carrasco rejoined Atletico on loan in January, two years after leaving the club for Chinese side Dalian Pro, and has made 15 appearances in the second half of the season.
The Belgium international is due to return to Dalian later this month but has not ruled out staying at the Wanda Metropolitano beyond then.
“I’m here until the Champions League final,” he said. “I don’t know [if I’ll stay longer] – it’s not me you have to talk to about that.
“They’re not questions for me, they’re for Miguel Angel [Gil Marin, Atleti’s CEO] or the Dalian owner.
“I’m really happy here and it would be great to be able to stay for longer at Atletico, but you know that in negotiations I don’t have the final say.”
Source: Vanguard News
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