Tiago: Atletico Madrid ready for Mourinho mind games

The midfielder fully expects the Chelsea boss to “crank up” the pressure ahead of their meeting, while he believes his countryman and Diego Simeone are on “the same level”
Atletico Madrid midfielder and former Chelsea player Tiago says the Liga leaders are prepared for Jose Mourinho's mind games ahead of their Champions League semi-final clash.

The 32-year-old spent a season at Stamford Bridge under 'The Special One', picking up a Premier League winners' medal before leaving for Lyon in 2005.

7/1 Atletico Madrid are 7/1 to beat Chelsea 2-0 in the first leg of their Champions League tie
And Tiago says the whole Atletico squad are familiar with Mourinho's antics following his spell with city rivals Real Madrid and are ready to swat away his attempts to “crank up” the pressure.

"It's not just me: Jose was here for three years so we all know him," the Portuguese midfielder told The Guardian.

"Mourinho knows exactly what to say to his players in any given moment. He makes the decisions. He never consults the players and never tells the [media].

"He takes responsibility, he's the leader and it's a role he plays better than anyone. We all know that if he has to crank up the pressure to win he will do that."

Although Tiago was full of praise for his compatriot, he believes Atleti boss Diego Simeone is a match for Mourinho – even if there are subtle differences between their management styles.

"Of all the coaches I've worked with, they're at the same level: top coaches," he continued.

"Simeone's mere presence on the touchline motivates us. Seeing the way he lives every minute reaches you; what he transmits to us on the pitch is incredible.

"Mourinho does the same but in a different way - he motivates you through the week. It's perhaps more mental. With Simeone it is what he expresses, the energy; with Mourinho it's more the way he gets inside your head."