Chelsea legend warns against Atletico Madrid threat

Paulo Ferreira claims that Atletico Madrid have as much chance of reaching the Champions League final as Chelsea have.

Paulo Ferreira is one of the few players who have won the Champions League twice in their careers with two different clubs.

Back in 2004, he was one of the key elements in Jose Mourinho’s Porto team that shocked Europe and lifted club football’s premier trophy.

The former Portugal international moved to Chelsea along with his compatriot Mourinho thereafter and established himself as one of the best full-backs in the Premier League.

When he won the Champions League again in 2011-12 under the management of Roberto Di Matteo, he was little more than a bit-part player acting as emergency cover, but the 35-year-old can still claim to have had a successful career both at club and national level.

Which is why Ferreira’s warning to Chelsea about Atletico Madrid following their pairing in the Champions League semi-finals should not be taken as just another former footballer speaking in clichés. This is a man who has followed continental football over the years and has played against the best players outside the Premier League.

"It will be a difficult game with a 50-50 chance of reaching the final,” he said. “Atletico had a wonderful game against Barcelona and they deserve to be in the semi-finals, said the Portuguese.

Indeed, there is no reason whatsoever to underestimate Diego Simeone’s men. So far this season, Los Rojiblancos have yet to suffer defeat against Barcelona, and it sounds even more impressive when one realises that the two teams have already confronted each other five times in three different competitions in 2013-14.

In the second leg of their quarter-final tie, Atletico edged past Barcelona 1-0 to go through 2-1 on aggregate, while Chelsea dramatically overcame Paris Saint-Germain on away goals rule in their last-eight contest.

Atletico do not have star names littered on their teamsheet and they do not have a big squad, but under Simeone they have become a cohesive unit who play to their strengths and the players complement each other.

Diego Costa may be the big name on Atletico’s team, but Chelsea may well be aware that they beat the mighty Barca at the Vicente Calderon without the Spain international striker even on the bench.

And if he plays, then Mourinho’s men may just hope for some luck against the Spanish club.

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