Kieran Trippier has opened up on the mindset at Atletico Madrid and how they approached the 3-2 victory over Liverpool.
The Champions League last-16 win at Anfield is undoubtedly the highlight of his short spell with the club so far.
The LaLiga side were indebted to goalkeeper Jan Oblak for a string of saves which kept them in the game in the second half and allowed them to win in extra time, inflicting Liverpool’s first home European defeat since 2014.
“It is an unbelievable feeling,” Trippier said.
“Liverpool for the last two years here have been unbelievable and to come here and defend like we did. It is a huge achievement, you know. You have seen how difficult they have made it for teams here.
“Obviously we knew Liverpool had beaten Barcelona 4-0 last year but they are playing a different team in us – they are playing a defensively-strong team who will never give up.
“We knew it would be very difficult because of the occasion and the fans so I thought we had that never-say-die attitude even when we went 1-0 down and we knew we just needed to score once and get that away goal but to score three here was an amazing feeling.
“You have seen over many years how strong Atletico are. I’ve been here seven months and I’ve never seen anything like it, to be honest with you.
“Starting from Diego Simeone – everyone feeds off him – he’s an unbelievable manager.
“I can’t really explain it, how good it is here, it is just an unbelievable feeling and I’m proud to be part of this team.”
Straight after the game, Trippier told BT Sport it was a pleasure to learn from Simeone.
“We knew it was going to be very difficult but we needed to stay defensively strong and try and frustrate Liverpool as much as we could. We knew that we’d get our chances if we beat the press of Firmino, Salah and Mane,” said the England man,” said the former Spurs man.
“Liverpool are very strong at home, I’ve played them so many times in the Premier League (to know that) but we knew we’d get our chances and it was about being clinical in those moments and we were.
“The way we play is the way we train. He’s [Diego Simeone] like this on the touchline in training, it’s a joy to learn from him every day and work with him. I knew I needed a change and when a club like Atletico Madrid come in for you, you can’t say no. I’m loving my time here and I’m learning new things every day.”
Trippier believes his move to Spain has boosted his England chances.
The former Burnley and Tottenham full-back’s place in Gareth Southgate’s side has come under pressure from Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold and Manchester United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Following his £20million summer move, Tripper started three of England’s first four European Championship qualifiers this season – having not been selected for June’s Nations League finals.
However, he was an unused substitute for the last two in November, with Alexander-Arnold preferred as competition for the spot intensified.
After progressing to the quarter-finals of the Champions League following Atletico’s 4-2 aggregate win at Anfield, Trippier has the chance to continue playing at the highest level to press his international claims further.
“I knew when I left Tottenham and I hadn’t been picked for the Nations League last summer that I had to perform better,” he said.
“I’ve had plenty of chats about that with the staff at England.
“I want to play at the highest level for as long as I can in order to play for England. That’s my objective.
“There is no bigger moment for me than representing my country. I just need to perform well, I know what I need to do, because there are so many right-backs now.
“There are about six right-backs – and they are all playing at the highest level. I just need to focus on myself.”
Trippier has embraced the change of culture and country and the effect it is having on his football.
“I didn’t want to come to the end of my career and regret not going,” he added.
“It is a big change, different culture, different types of football, but I am loving every minute of it and hopefully my performances for Atletico can keep me in the England squad.
“I’m delighted to be part of this team and enjoying every single moment of playing abroad.”