Atleti Aim To Party Like Its 1999
29 November 2012
Atletico Madrid have not beaten their cross city rivals Real Madrid on their own turf since 1999, when Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink scored a brace for Claudio Ranieri’s team in shock 3-1 win.
But under Diego Simeone this season, Los Rojiblancos believe they can party like its 1999.
Atleti will travel to the Bernabeu this weekend ahead of champions Real on La Liga log, bristling with confidence and attacking intent.
And while he is confident Real can keep up their one-sided record against Atleti, skipper Iker Casillas admits they will have to be at their best to stop Simeone’s impressive side.
"I think bringing in Simeone has been a success for Atletico," Casillas said, looking forward to the most highly anticipated Madrid derby in ages.
"He has given them a new spirit and no one has gifted him anything.
"Falcao is a great player. He was a very successful signing and is a very complete, natural finisher."
With free-scoring Falcao and a far more solid defence than in seasons past, Atleti are sure to provide Real a stern test. And Casillas admits that the derby is a game Real can hardly afford to lose.
"It is a different match from previous seasons," Casillas said.
"They are coming to the Santiago Bernabeu with a very strong team and after a win in a very tough match against Sevilla, who beat us.
"We hoped that there would be less of distance between us, but hopefully at the end of the match that advantage will be cut to five points. Any aim other than winning is no good for us."