Miguel Angel Moya: ‘Atletico Madrid must respect Bayer Leverkusen’

Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya

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Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya insists they must treat Bayer Leverkusen with the utmost respect in the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday.

Atleti are keen to try and repeat their heroics from last season in the elite European competition when they reached the final before losing to rivals Real Madrid.

Los Rojiblancos have not been as solid in the group stage this time round but still managed to finish top ahead of Italian champions Juventus.

Diego Simeone’s side were handed a draw with Bayer in the first knockout stage and will travel to Germany for the first-leg meeting.

Moya, who joined in the summer as a replacement for Thibaut Courtois, insists they will not take their German opponents lightly as they look to pick up a positive result on the road.

Roger Schmidt’s men beat off competition from Zenit Saint Petersburg and Benfica to finish second in their group behind Monaco and currently sit sixth in the Bundesliga, four points adrift of third-placed Borussia Monchengladbach.

Moya said: “The Champions League is always special. Now we begin the challenging parts, it’s a beautiful thing. The game we’ve been waiting for for weeks.

“Leverkusen are a German club and they’ll be difficult. Things haven’t been easy for them in the Bundesliga this season, but they’ve started to find their form. We’re going there with the utmost respect, but also with the utmost desire to get a positive result to give us the advantage.

“They have a lot of quality in the attack. Calhanoglu is a great free-kick specialist. But the best part of Leverkusen is that they are a complete unit, like us, a team.”

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