Atletico Madrid defender Juanfran rubbished suggestions his team were only on track to win La Liga due to Real Madrid losing it.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men have drawn consecutive league games to slip four points adrift of leaders Atletico, who are likely to face Barcelona in a decider on the final day.
Juanfran, whose side host Malaga on Sunday, was unhappy with claims the title had been lost by Real, rather than won by likely either Atletico or Barca.
“I hate that people think (like that). If Madrid don’t win the league and Atleti or Barca do it will be because these teams have been better,” he told a news conference.
“Madrid will try until the end because they have the players and staff to do so. Otherwise it will be a demerit for Madrid and a merit for Barca or Atletico.
“I have said very clearly I don’t like it when people say that if Madrid don’t win it’s because they lost it, not that we won it.
“If we win this league it will show that Atletico has been better this year.
“If Barca win in the last game then it will be their achievement, too, and if Madrid win it will be clear that they deserve it and I can’t detract from a team because people think or try to belittle another.”
If Barcelona and Atletico both win on Sunday, it would set up an exciting finale to the title race.
Gerardo Martino’s men would need a victory at home on the final day, drawing them level on points with Atletico but giving them the title on head-to-head record.
But Juanfran said it would be a huge error for Atletico to play for a point against Barca.
“It would be a mistake to think we can draw, because in two moves, Andres (Iniesta) or Leo (Messi), or any of Barcelona, can win the game and we go home with nothing,” he said.
“I had a bad time watching at Levante. It was a very sad day. I’m looking forward to helping the team win.”