In amongst the build-up to matches like tomorrow’s, a lot of the focus is on the current crop of players, and the fans of our great club. However we do forget from time to time that some of our ex-players are as much fans of Atlético as we are!
Simao posted a video of himself in the crowd at the Calderón on Tuesday, and now our old defender Tomáš Ujfaluši has written a letter to all Atlético fans ahead of the quarter final second leg. Here’s a translated version!
Dear Atlético Madrid fans:
There are only a few hours left until the match against Real Madrid and the first thing I want to say to you guys is that we are going through!
It’s true that they are the favorites on the betting websites because they’re playing at home, but believe me if I tell you that we can beat them.
They haven’t beaten us in the last seven games and that’s a great reason to believe in our chances.
I’ve played in the Bernabéu several times and I know what it feels like to not be the favourite.
I remember that we were close to winning in my first year there when Kun had several chances, but they came back and turned around the game after Forlan’s initial goal. That’s why we have to stay concentrated until the final second.
I think that to be able to beat Real Madrid, we must defend well like we’ve done in the past months. I believe in all of the players – especially in Godín one of the great leaders of this team. He’s an incredible defender, the leader. I’m sure that he will have a key part in the match. Tiago, Raúl García… I remember all of them as well, especially Koke.
I remember that he began to train with us and from the first time I saw him I knew he could do great things in this club. His constant hard work, his fighting spirit and his hunger for more prove that he’s made his way with the club and I’m happy about that.
I hope that we have that little bit of luck that is always needed in a match of this calibre and especially against a rival like Real Madrid. Atléticos, it’s not going to be easy, but I believe we can win.
I believe that Fernando Torres can once again be the hero of the match, just like in the Copa.
I’ve read what Mandzukic wrote about the incident with Carvajal and I see it as a very noble gesture. I don’t know if Carvajal tried to bite him or not, but what I’m sure of, and what I agree with both Simeone and Mandzukic, is that what happens on the pitch stays on the pitch.
I lived a similar experience with Messi and people were talking about that incident for weeks, but as a footballer I always say that the things that happen on the pitch must stay on the pitch.
I must confess that I got really emotional last Tuesday when I went to the Calderón. It surprised me when so many people recognized me on the streets even though I look very different and I pretty much no longer have any hair. I love going to Madrid to cheer on my team in the Calderón where I can reunite with some good friends.
At Atlético Madrid I lived the best three years of my career as a footballer and my journey there is something that I’ll never forget. Winning the Europa League in Hamburg and the Super Cup in Monaco are things that made me very happy and I’ll never forget it.
To say goodbye, I want to thank all of you Atlético fans for everything that you’ve given me. You can count on me for Wednesday’s match. Of course I’ll be watching the match, I’m not sure if with friends or my baby daughter, but we’ll be wearing our Atlético shirt (just like I did in the Lisbon final).
We’ll be cheering from afar in order to win and to keep dreaming of winning the Champions League!