Atlético de Madrid General Manager Clemente Villaverde gave his reaction to the outcome of this afternoon's Europa League draw in which the Rojiblancos were paired with Arsenal in the semi-finals. Speaking to BeinSports, the director was keen to underline the significance of Atleti's presence in European competition at this stage of the canpaign: "We've been here in this priviliged situation for the past six seasons and that is very important".
First meeting in official competition
As for the prospect of a first competitive meeting with Arsenal, he said: "From this moment on, all that remains for us now are very difficult games, great rivals and the draw has brought us together with Arsenal, and that's a very welcome outcome for us. Arsenal are a great club who always finish among the top teams in their league and usually go far in European competition.They are a team with a lot of similarities to us and I think we are in for a very open tie. These kinds of ties are always 50-50. We could be in for two games which are completely different".
No difference playing home or away first
When asked if Atlético will be at an advantage playing the return leg at home, he added: "You never know. Until now we've played all of our first legs at home and gone through but you can never say playing the away leg at home is better. We have to play well and with a clear head in both legs".
When asked to summarise Atlético's philosophy, Villaverde explained much of it was down to Diego Simeone's insistance that the team takes just one game at a time: "That's always been our way. That is the only approach we know - and a lot of hard work..."