Cape Town - Atletico Madrid midfielder Arda Turan has defended his side’s rugged style of play after they were accused of being too aggressive.
Los Rojiblancos have threatened Barcelona and Real Madrid’s domination of La Liga under the guidance of former Argentina captain Diego Simeone.
They beat both Barca and Real to the league title last season, and Turan says that Atletico's glory was all down to their combative approach.
"Our football might not be pretty, but it’s winning football,” the Turkey international told the FIFA official website.
“Sometimes, the teams playing the nicest football don’t win games or titles. Certainly there are times when we’d like to have more of the ball, but we don’t have Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi in our side, so we have to be a real team and work hard.
"We need to defend more than Madrid or Barcelona, but that style has made us champions. I respect everyone’s right to an opinion, and I too enjoy the football played by the likes of Barca or Bayern Munich. However, I prefer our own style more."
He added: “When Simeone came in, the first thing he said to us was: ‘If we stop the opposition from scoring and get a goal ourselves, then we’ll win.'
"The key thing was not to concede goals, which meant the team had to stay compact and defend as a unit. Our recipe is: work and more work.
"Each game is like a final and we have to focus on every opponent. Barça and Madrid have more money and more quality than us, but with our mentality of taking it ‘game by game’ and playing for each other we can compete with them."