By 90Min
October 09, 2017

Having fallen short twice in the last four seasons, Atletico Madrid defender Juanfran still believes they have what it takes to go all the way. 

Beaten agonizingly by Real Madrid in both finals - the way that Atletico have fell short has made the chase for their first Champions League all the more painful.

A late equaliser from Sergio Ramos in 2014 broke Atleti hearts - with last year's penalty loss particularly frustrating for Juanfran, who hit the post with his spot-kick. Yet, the Spaniard remains convinced that Atletico can win Europe's greatest competition. 


Speaking to Marca, Juanfran said: "Yes I remain convinced. I do not say this to be deceitful or create false hope in people's minds, but I am convinced that our captain will one day lift the trophy.

"We hope to have a good group stage, qualify to the knockout stages and from there we will gain belief with every round closer to the final." The Rojiblancos have struggled in the group so far; tasting defeat late on to Chelsea and settling for a point with Roma - an easier match against Qarabag awaits Diego Simeone's side on the 18th October. 

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/GettyImages

Yet to lose in La Liga, Atletico have still lacked a cutting edge up front, with the attacking pieces of the puzzle not yet fitting. Demonstrated by three draws in seven league games - the arrival of Vitolo and Diego Costa will be a huge boost to Simeone's forward options. 

However, Juanfran has urged both the fans and the players to not fixate their attention on January: "The goal today cannot be to think about Diego [Costa] and Vitolo. We have to think about the players we have at this moment, we will think about signings when the time comes.

"Together with the coach, we are the players who have to deliver right now and we have to get the fans excited, our goal has to be to win matches now and not be desperate for January." 

Approaching 300 appearances in red and white, having arrived at the old Estadio Vicente Calderon in 2011 - Juanfran has a better platform than most on what it takes to succeed at Atletico as they pursue their maiden Champions League title. 

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