The 26-year-old believes recent results have proven los Rojiblancos are ready to become Spain's dominant force
Diego Simeone's side finished third in La Liga last season and beat Madrid for the first time in 13 years in the Copa del Rey final and the Turkey international believes his team are now on par, if not better than the two Spanish giants.
“I think we are now at an even level [to Barcelona and Real Madrid],” he told El Mundo Deportivo.
“All these clubs have fantastic players, Real Madrid, Barca, Bayern [Munich] but we are stronger as a team.
“We have worked hard to create a very strong group, we are together, we are powerful. We are not an easy team to beat.
“Can we compete with the big two in the league? Yes, why not?
“We can do it, I believe. And I think the fans of Atletico do too. We beat Chelsea in the Uefa Super Cup, Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey, we can achieve what we set out to.
“At the time, no-one believed we could win those two games and we did. We must believe in ourselves.”
Atletico lost leading goalscorer Radamel Falcao to Monaco last month, but have strengthened the squad by signing David Villa, Martin Demichelis and Leo Baptistao.