Diego believes Atlético Madrid aren’t favourites to progress in Champions League despite away draw with Barcelona
Atlético Madrid are not favourites to progress to the Champions leg semi-final's, according to midfielder Diego Ribas, despite securing an away goal and draw during the first leg of their quarter-final match against Barcelona.
Diego’s super strike gave Los Rojiblancos the lead at the Camp Nou but countryman Neymar equalised and once again it finished as a draw between the two sides.
However, when the 29-year-old playmaker spoke to Inside Spanish Football he wouldn’t label his team as favourites.
Diego said: “Favourites? It’s all open, very difficult, they are a spectacular team. We need to play like we did, playing hard (to qualify).”
Had it not been for an injury to Diego Costa than Diego may not have even been on the pitch to score, as he was subbed on in place of the Brazilian-born Spanish resident.
The former Santos midfielder revealed his sadness at Costa’s injury and was also full of praise for another ex-Santos starlight.
“Diego Costa is sad, because this was an important game and he wanted to play,” Diego revealed.
“What he did was phenomenal. What’s important now is that he rests and recovers. We need him a lot.
“Neymar is special, very strong. He scored a goal in his window of opportunity. I’m certain that he’ll one day be one of the best in the world.”