• Premier League

We're not afraid of Chelsea, says Atletico's Juanfran

ESPN staff
April 22, 2014
ESPN FC: Atletico gear up for Chelsea clash

Atletico Madrid defender Juanfran insists his side are not afraid of Chelsea ahead of tonight's Champions League semi-final first-leg.

Diego Simeone has guided Atletico to their first European Cup semi-final since 1974, with his side also four points clear at the top of La Liga.

Chelsea visit the Vicente Calderon tonight looking to make their third final in seven years, having won the competition in 2012.

"Nobody has fear of Mourinho and Chelsea," Juanfran told Sky Sports. "These two matches are life and death and we will do everything to win.

"Our challenge is to play in the final in Lisbon and we have been preparing for this game against Chelsea since the day of the draw.

"Chelsea have the bigger name than us in Europe in the last few years, but now the situation is level and we are capable of beating Chelsea.

"This season Atletico is living a dream, but in the next weeks arrives the best times and we want more and more."

Fernando Torres is set to come up against his former club, where he came through the youth ranks from the age of 11 and by 19 was captain of a team which was featured Simeone in midfield.

He left for Liverpool in 2007 for £20 million, then joined Chelsea in January 2011 for £50 million, and in recent months the striker has been regularly linked with a return to his first club.

However Juanfran insists tonight that Aletico will be putting any friendships aside on the pitch.

"If Fernando plays that is no problem," continued Juanfran. "He is a friend, but for these matches he is a rival.

"On the pitch we hope he does not participate a lot because he is a threat and we know how to stop Fernando."

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