Atletico prepared for battle against Barca and Real, says Juanfran

The Spanish right-back believes his team can keep battling with the elite in Europe as they look to remain top of La Liga

Atletico Madrid defender Juanfran says his side are well prepared for the climax to the season as they look to challenge for La Liga and the Champions League.

The Rojiblancos currently sit top of the Spanish top flight - even on points with Real Madrid but with a better head-to-head record and one point ahead of Barcelona.

They are also in contention for the Champions League, as they prepare to face Barca in the quarter-finals with the first leg next week at Camp Nou before the return tie at the Vicente Calderon.

Juanfran is sure his team have the physical and mental strength to ensure they can cope with the intensity and difficulty of the run in to the end of the season.

“We’ve prepared ourselves for this period, the best part of the season,” he told the club’s official website.

“Our objective is to stay where we are, competing with the biggest and best teams. We’re prepared to continue.

“We’re very proud of the work we’ve done. Being leaders in the league makes us happy.

“We’re very good, physically and mentally. We know we’re depending on ourselves and hopefully we can carry on along the same lines until the end of the season.

“I’m sure the fans are very proud.”

The 29-year-old says it is the team ethic and work rate of the entire team which has allowed them to reach this height with coach Diego Simeone.

“Atletico is about the whole team. We defend together and we attack together. We’re happy with how we’ve done and I think the coach is too.”