Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo says Liverpool’s Anfield ground “would not pass the UEFA inspection if it had to”.
AS claim the statement was made in “jest” with the second leg of the Champions League last-16 game with Atletico looming in three weeks’ time.
Atletico will take a 1-0 lead to Anfield after their gritty showing at the new Wanda Metropolitano home on Tuesday night.
Cerezo also paid tribute to his side’s tactics in the performance and hailed boss Diego Simeone.
“I always sleep well. There are days when you taste glory and others when you don’t. According to the media, a week ago we were dead and buried and now we are very much alive,” said Cerezo at a presentation for women’s star Kenti Robles.
“They had gone 30 games unbeaten and people were saying they are the best team in the world. We are happy with the result but we still have another game to go. But we have rediscovered ourselves and that is the best news.
“He who strikes first strikes hardest. To see our fans so committed to the team was amazing. It was absolutely spectacular. Anfield is a great stadium but it’s old. It probably wouldn’t pass the UEFA inspection if it had to do it,” said Cerezo.
Speaking about Argentinian coach Simeone, Cerezo added: “We have an excellent coach who will be with us for a long time. And we also have an excellent team.”
The 67,443 Atletico crowd at the Metropolitano, which opened in 2017, certainly played their part in a ferocious atmosphere in the Spanish capital and Jurgen Klopp now wants the Reds to produce their own version.
The German said: “The crowd wanted to help their team tonight. That makes it a very emotional game.
“Emotions are important. Tonight they were obviously completely on the side of Atletico but I am really looking forward to the second leg.
“We speak from time to time about the power of Anfield and the power a stadium can have, tonight you saw that.
“It’s half-time and we are 1-0 down. Why should we give up? Even better, the second half will be in a different stadium, our stadium, that will be different and Atletico will feel that, and that’s what we are looking forward to.”