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Atletico Madrid have advanced to the quarterfinals of the Champions League for the fourth consecutive season, and for the fourth consecutive season, they look like legitimate contenders for Europe’s greatest club prize.
They have no reason to fear their potential opponents. They’re, of course, well-versed in the battles between themselves, Real Madrid and Barcelona. They finished above Bayern Munich in this season’s group stage (and beat them in the semifinals last year), and the same can be said with regards to Juventus two years ago.
While Borussia Dortmund, Leicester City and Monaco all deserve their places in the quarters, it’s hard to see Diego Simeone’s men not being happy with drawing any one of those three clubs.
Atletico eased into the quarterfinals after laying into Leverkusen in their round of 16 first leg match. The return leg at the Vicente Calderon showed the other side of Atletico’s game, the one they’re famous for: they simply stymied Leverkusen’s approach and saw out a 0-0 result.
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The defense remains as formidable as ever, every player remains committed to running themselves into the ground for Diego Simeone and the additions of Kevin Gameiro and Nicolas Gaitan have added an extra dimension to their attack.
Whoever draws Atletico in the quarterfinals will be made to suffer.