The German side may not have the European pedigree to match their Spanish opponents but the midfielder insists there is no favourite ahead of Thursday
Having twice lost finals in the competition during Diego Simeone’s reign, Atleti will hope to finally get their hands on the famous trophy as the knockout stages are completed in Portugal.
The Spanish club ended Liverpool‘s title defence in the previous round but must now get past a Leipzig side who also knocked out English opponents to reach the last eight, impressively putting out Tottenham 4-0 on aggregate.
Leipzig midfielder Kampl knows Atleti will be tough to beat, considering their reputation for being strong defensively, but believes there is no real favourite ahead of Thursday’s meeting.
“Atletico Madrid have been one of the best teams in Europe for years. They have a lot of experience on the field and have already made it to the final in recent seasons,” he told the media.
“Even if they haven’t won the title yet, we know that this team is of high quality. We also know that they defend very well and have an extremely good counter-attack and know how to use their phases of possession. Often a 1-0 win is enough for them.
“We have a great squad and are in no way inferior to Atletico’s quality. We are always dangerous for goals, no matter what formation we play with or who will be on the pitch.
“In addition, we are all aware of this great opportunity that is presented to us here. Everyone will tear themselves apart to win and advance to the semi-finals. There is no real favourite on Thursday.”
Leipzig will need to find a way to beat Jan Oblak, a goalkeeper Kampl knows all about from their time playing together for Slovenia.
The 29-year-old is full of praise for his compatriot, rating him “one of the best in the world” ahead of the clash to decide who will progress through to a semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain or Atalanta.
“Of course, I know Jan from my time with the Slovenia national team. He is a really outstanding keeper and for me is one of the best in the world,” Kampl said.
“He has already achieved a lot in his career and he still has enormous potential. We actually have still been in contact now and then.
“We exchanged a few messages before we arrived and I’m looking forward to seeing him on the pitch on Thursday.”