Simeone not getting carried away
© AFP

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone refused to speculate about his team's chances of winning the UEFA Champions League after they secured qualification for the knockout stage as group winners.

Atletico overpowered Austria Vienna 4-0 at the Vicente Calderon thanks to goals by Joao Miranda, Raul Garcia, Filipe Luis and Diego Costa, marking their fourth win in four games in this season's competition.

Vienna stay bottom of Group G with just one point while Zenit St. Petersburg, Atletico's closest rivals in the group, drew 1-1 at home to Porto earlier in the day, ceding a now unassailable seven-point advantage to the Madrid side.

Atletico will be seeded in the draw for the last 16, which will take place on 16 December in Nyon.

We play with the same desire and humility in the Champions League as we do in the league.
Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone

Speaking in the post-match press conference, Austria Vienna coach Nenad Bjelica talked up the Spanish side's chances in the latter rounds of the tournament.

But Simeone was more cautious. "We play with the same desire and humility in the Champions League as we do in the league," Simeone said. "We know the difficulties of the competition, and we know our strengths.

"Our approach has always been to take it on a game-by-game basis, playing every game with the same excitement and hope, which is what a club like Atletico Madrid should do."

Reflecting on his side's performance against the Austrian champions, Simeone added: "I'm happy with the way we won. Before the game we knew Porto and Zenit had drawn and that we would have the chance to finish top of the group. We approached the game in the right manner."

Praise for Atleti
Bjelica, by contrast, was more optimistic about Atletico's hopes of going far in the competition.

He said: "Yesterday I watched Juventus play Real Madrid and they both played without any discipline. Neither of those teams can compete with Atletico, who are a really strong team and one you have to take seriously.

"If all their players stay fit, they'll have a real chance of winning the competition. It's another matter if they will win it, but they certainly have a chance. I would personally like them to win it."

He added: "A player like Cristiano Ronaldo isn't going to win the Champions League by himself, the best team is going to win it, and there are very few teams as strong as Atletico.

"I'm not just flattering them, they really are playing at a tremendous level. They'll need a bit of luck, but I think they are capable. They are candidates to win it, absolutely."