Jan Oblak: “Nothing would make me happier than winning the Champions League this year.”

In an exclusive interview with Diario AS, Atlético Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak spoke ahead of the Champions League quarter-final clash with RB Leipzig on Thursday night.

How is the team doing after the positive coronavirus tests for Angel Correa and Sime Vrsaljko?

It’s been a difficult few days and we’re all slightly stressed because of the tests. It’s a blow that two teammates have tested positive and had to stay back in Madrid. I’m sure we’ll be fine, we’ve been able to train as much as possible, we’re preparing for the game as we normally would.

Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann suggested Atlético are a provocative side. Does that hurt or add motivation?

It doesn’t bother me really. I didn’t know he’d said that, I don’t read much before games. I respect everybody’s right to their own opinion. People can think whatever they want. I know we’re not a provocative side, but if someone wants to think that I respect their right to have a different opinion to my own.

The Champions League is in Lisbon this year, a city that you have fond memories of

Lisbon is a special city for me. I came here when I was 17 and then went out on loan to various clubs in different cities but Lisbon was the first city I went to when I left Slovenia. It holds a special place but to be honest it doesn’t really matter if you win the Champions League in Lisbon, Madrid or London. It’ll mean the same and I just hope we can do it.

Iker Casillas has said that a save is worth the same as a goal. Would you agree?

Iker has won everything and I’d like to congratulate him and wish him all the best for the future. And yeah, I’d say a save is as important as a goal. If you don’t concede you only have to score one. If you do, you have to score twice. Every save you make is one fewer goal the team needs.

There’s been talk in England of interest from Chelsea

It’s not the time to talk about that, right now we’ve got Leipzig to think about. I’ll assess the season when it’s over and hopefully we’ve got three games left. There’ll be time after that to talk.

Plenty of people are saying that Atlético Madrid are owed a Champions League. Is now the time?

Everybody here deserves a Champions League and I hope this is our year. It’s hard to look beyond this game, we have to beat Leipzig first and then we can look forward. Nothing would make me happier than winning the Champions League this year.

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