Atletico's Champions League exit not due to lack of ambition, insists Saul
Saul Niguez insists Atletico Madrid's Champions League exit at the hands of Juventus was not due to a lack of ambition.
Diego Simeone's men claimed a commendable 2-0 win at home in the first leg last month and that appeared to put them in the driving seat for a place in the last eight.
But Juve rallied in Turin on Tuesday, as former Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick – the clincher coming via the penalty spot late on – to send the Serie A champions through 3-2 on aggregate.
Atletico were made to pay for a pragmatic performance in which they hardly threatened the Juventus goal, though Saul is adamant their setup should not be confused with a perceived lack of desire.
"No, I don't think so," Saul told reporters when asked if Atletico were devoid of ambition. "I think Juventus have been better than us in different parts of the game.
"Now, it's time to be together against the adversity and face everything that is coming, we deserve it.
"In the end, the things haven't gone the way we expected. I think they've been better than us, and we have to congratulate Juventus."
Juanfran added: "Everyone has been in the team for many years, we have a style of play.
"We don't change, we always try to give our best. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but we always have the desire to win. Things went wrong and that's it."