Juanfran convinced Atletico Madrid will end Champions League hoodoo one day

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After losing in the final of the European Cup twice in the last four seasons, the defender believes his side will eventually win the competition

Juanfran remains convinced Atletico Madrid will win the Champions League in the future after the Liga side suffered painful defeats in two of the last four finals.

Real Madrid proved to be too strong for their city rivals on both occasions, denying Diego Simeone's men the chance to claim their maiden title in the competition.

Atletico have made a poor start to this season's edition, drawing away to Roma and losing at home to Premier League champions Chelsea, leaving them third in Group C ahead of a double-header with bottom side Qarabag.

Although Atletico have a lot of work to do if they are to make it into the knockout rounds of the tournament, right-back Juanfran is sure Atletico will win Europe's premier club competition one day.

"Yes, I remain convinced," Juanfran told Marca. "I do not say this to be deceitful or create false hope in people's minds, but I am convinced that our captain will one day lift the trophy.

"We hope to have a good group stage, qualify to the knockout stages and from there we will gain belief with every round closer to the final."

Should they reach the last 16, Atletico's squad will be boosted by the January signings of Vitolo and Diego Costa, with their deals set to be formally completed when the club's transfer ban expires at the turn of the year.

Atletico Madrid 20/1 to win Champions League

But Juanfran, whose contract expires at the end of the campaign, says Atletico cannot get distracted by the impending arrivals of the Spain internationals.

"The goal today cannot be to think about Diego and Vitolo," Juanfran added, with Costa training at the club after completing his return from Chelsea, while Vitolo is on loan at Las Palmas after leaving Sevilla in a contentious deal.

"We have to think about the players we have at this moment, we will think about signings when the time comes.

"Together with the coach, we are the players who have to deliver right now and we have to get the fans excited.

"Our goal has to be to win matches now and not be desperate for January."

Juanfran is no longer an automatic selection for Simeone at right-back, competing with Sime Vrsaljko and Lucas Hernandez among others for a place, but the 32-year-old is keen to extend his six-year stay at the club by signing a new deal.

"During the year we will continue negotiations, I do not wish to renew for the sake of it. If I sign, it is because I feel important to the team and I can continue performing," Juanfran said.

"I also want the club to trust me for more years and believe I can be a major player, I do not want anybody to simply give me anything."

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