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Luis Enrique: Barcelona wanted to avoid Atletico Madrid

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has acknowledged he would rather not have drawn Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League as he did not want to face a Spanish opponent at this stage.

The Catalans saw off Arsenal in the round of 16 to make it to the quarter-finals, only to be paired with their domestic rivals for the second time in three seasons during Friday’s draw.

Diego Simeone’s men proved to be too strong in the quarter-finals in 2013-14 and Luis Enrique admitted he was not overly happy to be drawn with Atletico again.

“You are bound to meet a tough opponent like Atletico Madrid when you reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League,” the Barcelona coach said at a media conference.

“Nobody wanted to play against a team from the same country, but I reckon it was inevitable because we have so many good Spanish teams.

“I think it can be a positive that we know Atletico very well. Both teams have no surprises for each other.

“Of course, we were hoping for an easier opponent, but you will have to beat all rivals if you are to win the Champions League.

“All that matters is making it to the final.”

Sat 19 Mar, 2016
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