Diego Simeone today backed his Atletico Madrid side to give "sweat, heart and tears" in order to claim a famous victory over Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup.
Atletico boss Simeone admitted the Blues were favourites for tomorrow night's Monaco showpiece by virtue of their Champions League win and the vast sums they have spent building on that triumph.
But the former Argentina midfielder insisted that would count for nothing if his Europa League winners left everything on the pitch at the Stade Louis II.
"I believe, when there is a favourite, it is because one is better than the other," Simone said this afternoon. I'd prefer to be the favourite because you have some assets the other doesn't - that is clear. But the game is what counts. What counts is what is on the pitch on Friday - sweat, heart, tears - things which go beyond what is on paper."
Atletico secured just such a triumph when they beat then-European champions Inter Milan in the Super Cup two years ago.
Simeone, who led the Spaniards to their second Europa League title in three years after succeeding Gregorio Manzano midway though last season, added: "We won't lie to people - Chelsea are the favourites.
"They have an enormous budget and, in sporting terms, they won the Champions League. On paper, they have better opportunities than we do. We want to be competitive and we want to show when it comes to a one-off match, it comes down to who plays better."
Tomorrow's game will see Chelsea striker Fernando Torres face his former club for the first time since leaving for Liverpool five years ago.
Torres joined Atletico at the age of 11, became their youngest ever captain at 19, and was their leading scorer in each of his final five seasons before moving to Anfield.
He admitted this week Atletico would always be his first love but Simeone was reluctant to discuss the Spaniard's reunion with his boyhood idols or draw comparisons with the club's latest goal machine, Radamel Falcao, who has been heavily linked with Chelsea in the past.
"I'm not going to make comparisons or talk about Fernando Torres' feelings in respect of playing this game and the feelings for him," said Simone. I'll talk about my team and we have an excellent squad. Falcao is an extraordinary member of that squad. I've seen him as a kid and growing up and I'm convinced, if he continues to maintain his growth, there will be no limits for him."
Falcao, who unlike Torres took no time to settle at a new club following a big-money move from Porto last year, added: "I would like to be the best player I can be, and improve and grow as a player and give my all.
"Tomorrow's game represents a great opportunity. We're fully aware of the importance of the Super Cup. I hope Atletico will continue to make history in European football."