Villaverde: Atletico have beaten Chelsea before and can do it again

The former Rojiblancos player acknowledged the challenge posed by Jose Mourinho's men, but says that the Liga leaders can emulate their 2012 Super Cup win over the English side
Clemente Villaverde says Atletico Madrid have nothing to fear from Champions League semi-final opponents Chelsea, pointing out that they have beaten the Blues in continental competition before.

The two sides last collided in the 2012 UEFA Super Cup, with the Rojiblancos winning 4-1 courtesy of a Radamel Falcao hat trick.

Villaverde therefore can see no reason why Diego Simeone's side should be concerned by the prospect of going head to head with Jose Mourinho's Blues.

“We know that it will be hard, but we have beaten Chelsea before,” the Atleti director told Canal Plus.

"We have hope to pass to the final. We have to work like the other matches and we have to give our supporters the possibility to be in another final.

"We are in the semi-finals and we are so happy. We actually know the hard job that we did to be here, so we have to enjoy it now".

The 55-year-old also revealed that Thibaut Courtois is completely free to face Chelsea - despite initial reports that Atletico would have to pay for the privilege to field the on-loan goalkeeper against his parent club.

"Courtois can play whatever happens," he declared. "There is a Uefa regulation which prohibits any agreement between clubs that prevents a player from participating freely in the competition.

"The regulation would have been breached if the player had not been allowed the freedom to participate."

The first leg of the semi-final tie will be played at the Vicente Calderon on April 22, before Diego Simeone’s team travel to Stamford Bridge for the second leg on April 30.