Tottenham can 'hurt' Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu - Toby Alderweireld
LONDON -- Toby Alderweireld says Tottenham must treat Tuesday's Champions League match at Real Madrid like any other game, insisting they have the quality to win at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Alderweireld was part of the Atletico Madrid squad that won 1-0 at Madrid in 2013 during his side's title-winning season, but he was also in the Ajax team that lost 4-1 there the year before.
Tottenham visit Madrid with a 100 percent away record this season and level on six points with the Spanish giants after two Champions League group games.
Asked for the secret to winning at Madrid, the centre-back said: "Believe in your own ability, in your own quality and then play your own game. The Bernabeu is a big stadium but I think if you play in the Premier League you play against the best teams in the world. At Ajax, you play in the Dutch league, it's a little bit different.
"We have to be confident, there's always a chance to win there, always to keep possession and to hurt them. Of course they have a lot of quality up front but we can hurt them as well.
"[At Atletico] there was belief to hurt them and we have that belief [at Tottenham] as well. We have a lot of respect for them of course, but respect doesn't mean take your foot back [off the pedal]. Just go for it, win your battles and anything can happen.
"It's amazing, you have to have respect them, but we have to respect our history as well. We have a good team and we can beat them. It's not arrogance, it's just confidence in our own game. We know they are a very good side, but we have to try to play our game there then we have the best chance to get a good result."
The game is being billed as a measure of Tottenham's progress under Mauricio Pochettino, but Alderweireld was keen to play down the wider significance of Tuesday's result.
"On the other hand it's just one game as well," he said. "We don't have to be too dramatic about it. If we win we don't have to think we are the best in the world, if we lose...you know? It's just a game. We try to get a good result because our aim is to get into the next round of the Champions League of course."
In Cristiano Ronaldo, Alderweireld says Tottenham will have to contain the greatest player on the planet, but the Belgium international added that the challenges of playing in England's top-flight will have prepared them well.
"In the Premier League you are marking the best in the world and Ronaldo I think is the best in the world," he said. "We are up for it. That's why you want to play football -- Premier League, Champions League -- to play against players like him.
"You see in the Champions League this season the English clubs have been getting good results. Of course, Barca and Real Madrid are up there, every year they are in the final of the Champions League. It is difficult to compare but it's up to us to give them a good match now."
Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.