Friday 21 October 2016

Luis: Atletico's run just like Leicester

Atletico’s Felipe Luis (PA)
Atletico’s Felipe Luis (PA)

Atletico Madrid defender Filipe Luis sees similarities between his side's run to the Champions League semi-finals and Leicester City's stunning march towards the English Premier League title.

Leicester are on the brink of completing a surreal journey from 5,000-1 no-hopers to English champions after Tottenham Hotspur's 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion on Monday left the Foxes needing just one win to clinch the title. Just as Leicester have defied the odds and left big spenders like Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City and United trailing in their wake, Atletico have overcome a lack of spending power compared to their Champions League rivals to reach the semis.

"Look at what is happening this year with Leicester, they are a modest team and are almost champions in the Premier League," said Filipe Luis ahead of tonight's Champions League semi-final first leg against Bayern Munich.

"Epic things happen in football. Although there's a difference in our budgets we are the team that plays most as a team."

According to the Deloitte Money League, which ranked the world's richest football teams according to revenues for the 2014-15 season, Atletico earned €187million.

Bayern Munich, Atletico's opponents in the semi-finals, earned €477million, while the other teams in the last four - Real Madrid and Manchester City - earned €557million and €463.5million. Leicester, seven points clear at the top of the Premier League with three games left, were ranked 24th with €137million and were the 12th highest English team featured in the report.

Filipe Luis said a 'team-first' ethic had helped Atletico level the playing field. "We don't have a megastar, we have a team where everyone runs, everyone fights for the player next to them, and that makes us stronger," he added. "The team thinks a lot collectively, nobody thinks individually."

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