Atletico Miniero must fight for Libertadores: Bernard
Belo Horizonte (Brazil): Atletico Miniero rising star Bernard has warned his teammates they must "think high" as they begin to embark on their 2013 Copa Libertadores journey.
"We always have to think high. That`s how we played this year. Everyone thought this club would be battling against relegation," he said.
In stark contrast to that assumption, the Minas club ran Rio de Janeiro outfit Fluminense close in the chase for the 2012 Brazilian championship, reports Xinhua.
Atletico led the way for the vast majority of the season`s first half, thanks in no small part to the efforts of the vastly promising Bernard.
But the lack of depth in the squad showed as the season wore on and Fluminense ran out champions with three rounds still left to play.
Atletico are, however, planning to go even further in 2013. Star attraction Ronaldinho Gaucho has already signed a contract extension and Bernard has pledged the club will do everything within its power to bring success over the next twelve months.
"Next year, the team is going to be fighting for titles," he told Brazilian radio station Radio Itatiaia.
Atletico-MG begin their Libertadores campaign Feb 13, against the winners of the Sao Paulo-Bolivar qualifying round, at the Estadio Independencia.