Atletico Madrid’s players have the chance to give the Vicente Calderon the farewell it deserves in their Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid, according to director Clemente Villaverde.
Friday’s draw pitted the city rivals against each other in a repeat of last season’s final, which Real Madrid won 5-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
Zinedine Zidane’s side are aiming to become the first to retain the trophy in the Champions League era but Villaverde, who made over 100 appearances for Atleti between 1981 and 1987, hopes Diego Simeone’s men can give the Calderon a derby to remember before the club moves ground next season.
Villaverde reflected on Atletico’s defeats in the Champions League finals of 2014 and 2016, telling reporters: “Our fans and players have experienced two final defeats and know what it means and takes to get there – a lot of work.
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) April 21, 2017
“Hopefully we can give the Vicente Calderon the goodbye it deserves.”
Former Real Madrid forward Emilio Butragueno believes the LaLiga leaders could not have been given a more difficult draw.
“We’re happy to be just one step away from the final but this is the most difficult tie of all,” he said.
“Atleti are a side who capitalise on your mistakes. They’ve got quality up top and let in very few goals.
“We will pay for any errors.”