Atletico Madrid playmaker Arda Turan believes his side are as good as La Liga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Since Diego Simeone’s arrival at the club in December 2011, Atletico have won a UEFA Europa League title and last season’s Copa del Rey as well as finishing third in the Spanish top flight behind Barca and Real.
But having led their city rivals for much of the previous campaign, Turan believes Atletico are now ready to make an impact domestically and also in the UEFA Champions League.
“I think we are now at an even level (to Barcelona and Real Madrid),” he told El Mundo Deportivo. “All these clubs have fantastic players, Real Madrid, Barca, Bayern (Munich) but we are stronger as a team.
“We have worked hard to create a very strong group, we are together, we are powerful. We are not an easy team to beat.
“Can we compete with the big two in the league? Yes, why not?
“We can do it, I believe. And I think the fans of Atletico do too. We beat Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup, Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey, we can achieve what we set out to.
“At the time, no-one believed we could win those two game and we did. We must believe in ourselves.”