MADRID (Reuters) – Atletico Madrid defender Filipe Luis says that he has returned to a team with the same fighting spirit that took them to the Champions League final in 2014 and there is no chance they will ease off in their clash with Kazakhstan’s Astana on Wednesday.
The battling mentality instilled by coach Diego Simeone has played a crucial role in Atletico competing among the top sides in Europe. They also won the La Liga title in 2014.
Filipe Luis left Atletico at the end of that campaign to join Chelsea but, after failing to keep a regular first team place, he has returned to Spain to find Simeone’s side once again ready to upset clubs with bigger budgets.
“I have found myself with team mates with more hunger and more ambition,” Filipe Luis told a news conference in Madrid.
“Players like (Diego) Godin, Tiago (Mendes) and Koke they have made history here. They know how difficult it is but it is also a challenge to keep going and try to win more.”
Atletico have three points from two games in Group C while Astana are bottom with just a point so far.
Filipe Luis said there was no chance Atletico would hold back despite a tough La Liga match with Valencia at the weekend.
“Knowing the coach that would be impossible, we will not be leaving anyone out.”
(Reporting by Tim Hanlon in Barcelona, editing by Clare Lovell)