MADRID, March 31 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona coach Gerardo 'Tata' Martino on Monday praised Atletico Madrid ahead of their Champions League clash, hailing the rival "strong and confident domestically and in Europe".
"The key to winning the game will be in matching the intensity they bring to the game. We have to have the confidence in our ability to play an ordered game," he said.
He also explained that Barca had to be "careful about giving the ball away and leaving space for them to hit us on the counter."
"I'm not expecting an open game," he said, while stating that "Atletico will come and look to score for the away goal. We have to make sure that we win and also that we don't concede".
"That will give us a degree of confidence going into the second leg," he added.
Brazilian player Dani Alves reflected on the fact that this will be the fourth game against Atletico this season, following the draws in the two Spanish Super Cup games and the league trip to Calderon.
"We can't look back. It's another game, another competition, another day," he said, adding that "we have to take a step forward here, because the tie will be decided in the second leg. We have to compete well and put an end to our run against Atletico" .
Alves said "Atletico played very intense games, playing hard and that's what you need to counter".
He added Diego Costa is a great player who can make the difference, but "Atletico is more than him" .
Asked about Andres Iniesta, Alves said that he "should have won a Ballon d'Or a long time ago."