Juanfran convinced Atletico Madrid can win Champions League

After losing in the final of the Champions League twice in the last four seasons, Juanfran says Atletico Madrid can win the competition.

Juanfran of Atletico Madrid reacts following the Champions League final loss in 2016.   -  Getty Images

Juanfran remains convinced Atletico Madrid can win the Champions League after the La Liga side suffered painful defeats in two of the last four finals. Real Madrid proved to be too strong for its city rival on both occasions, denying Diego Simeone's men the chance to claim their maiden title in the competition.

Atletico has made a poor start to this season's edition, drawing away to Roma and losing at home to Premier League champion Chelsea, leaving it third in Group C ahead of a double-header with bottom side Qarabag. Although Atletico has a lot of work to do if it is to make it into the knockout rounds of the tournament, right-back Juanfran is sure Atletico will win the Champions League one day.


"Yes, I remain convinced," Juanfran told Marca. "I do not say this to be deceitful or create false hope in people's minds, but I am convinced that our captain will one day lift the trophy. We hope to have a good group stage, qualify to the knockout stages and from there we will gain belief with every round closer to the final."

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Should it reach the last 16, Atletico's squad will be boosted by the January signings of Vitolo and Diego Costa, with their deals set to be formally completed when the club's transfer ban expires at the turn of the year. But Juanfran, whose contract expires at the end of the campaign, says Atletico cannot get distracted by the impending arrivals of the Spain internationals.

"The goal today cannot be to think about Diego and Vitolo," Juanfran added, with Costa training at the club after completing his return from Chelsea, while Vitolo is on loan at Las Palmas after leaving Sevilla in a contentious deal. "We have to think about the players we have at this moment, we will think about signings when the time comes. Together with the coach, we are the players who have to deliver right now and we have to get the fans excited. Our goal has to be to win matches now and not be desperate for January."

Juanfran is no longer an automatic selection for Simeone at right-back, competing with Sime Vrsaljko and Lucas Hernandez among others for a place, but the 32-year-old is keen to extend his six-year stay at the club by signing a new deal.

"During the year we will continue negotiations, I do not wish to renew for the sake of it. If I sign, it is because I feel important to the team and I can continue performing," Juanfran said. "I also want the club to trust me for more years and believe I can be a major player, I do not want anybody to simply give me anything."

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