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Koke: Atletico in better shape to beat Real than in 2014

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 21 May 2016

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Koke feels Atletico Madrid are in a better shape to beat Real Madrid in next week’s Champions League final than they were in 2014.

Atletico were beaten 4-1 after extra-time by their great rivals two years ago, but that meeting in Lisbon came just a week after an intense, league title-winning 1-1 draw with Barcelona at Camp Nou.

This time around, Diego Simeone’s team will have had two weeks rest before their showdown at San Siro, and Koke feels they will be much fresher.

“We’ve had more time to prepare than the 2014 final in Lisbon, that year we’d just played the league decider against Barcelona and were tired, this year we’re better physically,” he said at a news conference.

“We’ve had two weeks to prepare and have done so very enthusiastically.

“I think we have to be better defensively and take advantage of their errors, though they have improved a lot with Casemiro in the middle. We are going to watch videos of them to see where their weak points are.

“We have to play the final like it’s our last because you never know. 

“If we win, we’ll get to feel that emotion that we’ve grown up dreaming of, and it’ll be even more powerful than we’ve imagined.”

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