Atletico Madrid's in-form Tiago enjoying himself ''like a child''
Atletico Madrid midfielder Tiago has had ups and downs during a long career but attributes his recent impressive form to the fact he still enjoys himself on the pitch "like a child".
Madrid: Atletico Madrid midfielder Tiago has had ups and downs during a long career but attributes his recent impressive form to the fact he still enjoys himself on the pitch "like a child".
"I am feeling good," Tiago told a news conference ahead of Atletico`s Champions League Group A match at home to Olympiakos Piraeus on Wednesday.
"I am having a lot of fun and the truth is I feel like a child," added the 33-year-old Portuguese, who has had stints at clubs including Benfica, Chelsea, Juventus and Olympique Lyonnais.
"When someone enjoys himself on the pitch things come off well and that`s how I feel."
Tiago played a starring role in Atletico`s 3-1 La Liga win at home to Malaga on Saturday, netting the opening goal for Diego Simeone`s Spanish champions and setting up Diego Godin to score the third.
Typically playing alongside captain Gabi in central midfield, Tiago helps control play with his precise passing and tenacious tackling and also has an eye for goal.
Atletico, last year`s beaten Champions League finalists, can secure their place in the last 16 with a win against Olympiakos, who beat them 3-2 in Greece in their group opener in September.
"When we lose a match it is because there is something we have not done right," Tiago told reporters.
"Hopefully we can show tomorrow we have improved, that we have put the defeat behind us and learned from it.
"We were under a lot of pressure in that game because it was the first one in the group and it meant the subsequent matches were all like finals. Tomorrow`s will be one more final."
Olympiakos are coached by Spaniard Michel, a former Real Madrid and Spain midfielder, and are looking for a first win in the Iberian nation in European competition.
With four of six matches played, Atletico lead on nine points, Olympiakos and Juventus have six and Swedish side Malmo, who host the Italian champions on Wednesday, have three.