Leicester were dubbed the Cinderella of the Champions League last eight in Spain. Drawing Atletico Madrid is bit like being paired up with the ugly sisters – both of them.
It’s hard to think of a worse draw for Craig Shakespeare’s side. It will be low on glamour and high on difficulty; it will also be a large dose of their own medicine.
You could almost ask: ‘What’s the difference between Leicester and Atletico Madrid?’ One has incredible spirit, defends for their lives, puts substance over style and tends to bruise opponents into submission… and the other one won the Premier League last season.
Atletico Madrid ‘did a Leicester’ before ‘doing a Leicester’ was even a thing. When they won the league in 2014 they did so against all the odds. Spanish football went nine months saying: ‘It won’t last’ and ‘Credit to them but they will be overtaken on the line’. But it did last; they were not overtaken, and although it was the 10th Liga title in their history it was still one for the underdog, such is the huge financial difference between themselves and Real Madrid and Barcelona, who they drew with at the Camp Nou on the last day of the season.
They won that title playing 4-4-2, stringing together vital 1-0 wins when the going got tough and with Diego Simeone playing a straight bat through a thousand and one press conferences when he was asked if they thought they could indeed lift the trophy.
There was no ‘Dilly-ding, dilly-dong’ from Diego Simeone. His mantra was ‘one game at a time’. A cliche in English maybe, but in Spain – where it’s ‘partido a paritido’ – it was quite the novelty. It became his calling card as week after week his team ground out another win. His players ended up saying the same phrase in their post-match interviews. Fans even finished up printing ‘Partido a partido’ t-shirts.
Read the full article on eurosport.co.uk: Why Leicester have landed their mirror image - and the worst possible draw