Diego Costa says Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has his players dreaming of winning this season’s Champions League.
Cox: Milan lack identity
In-form Atletico take a 1-0 advantage into Tuesday’s last 16 second leg at home to AC Milan, making them favourites to advance to a first quarterfinal in 17 years.
The Brazil-born Spain international told UEFA’s website that he and his teammates had set their sights much further.
“I believe that we, not just me, have winning the competition as a dream,” Costa said. “We know it is very difficult, complicated, but we are going from game to game. I hope we get through this tie against Milan and then we can think further.”
Simeone had changed the mindset and ambition of everyone around the Estadio Vicente Calderon, Costa said.
“The boss for me has been very important for his way of living every game, of interpreting games,” he said. “He has shown us how to play each game, how to fight in each game. Not just for me, but for all the players and the club, the boss has brought a leap in quality, in personality, in showing that with work and with battling spirit we can achieve our objectives.”
The bustling centre-forward, who has five goals in four games in his first ever Champions League campaign, said he was particularly enjoying playing in Europe’s major club competition.
“My teammates had told me, Tiago especially, that the Champions League was something else, another world,” Costa said. “I really wanted to experience this sensation. The Champions is different, it is impressive. For any player it is a dream to play in.”