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Ronaldinho insists that Atletico Mineiro are ready for the challenges of being Libertadores defending champions

Ronaldinho is ready for the challenge of defending the Copa
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Atletico Mineiro talisman Ronaldinho has declared that the pressures endured by his side are ones that the squad relishes and that being defending champions of the Copa Libertadores is something that excites them rather than anything else.

A successful defence of the continent's most prestigious prize is certainly something of a rarity- in fact it hasn't happened since Boca Juniors of Argentina managed the feat at the turn of the century. But Ronaldinho believes his team have the mental and physical strength to cope with the task.

Speaking with lancenet.com, the 2002 World Cup winner said: "Difficulty increases. Everyone wants to beat the defending champions."

"Everyone wants the place of the defending champion, it'll be even harder than last year. Pressure increases, but this is what the players like."

Ronaldinho and his Mineiro men will play on Wednesday night in the second round of fixtures in this year's Copa and will be up against Santa Fe of Colombia. The pair both won their first games top sit joint top of Group 4 at this early stage.


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