The Frenchman believes the Spaniards have to be taken on with care.
Predicting who will win the Champions League this year is as difficult as ever, with holders Bayern Munich the favourites but Spanish duo Barcelona and Real Madrid close behind.
However, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger – who’s side are top of their own group after wins over Marseille and Napoli – says that another Spanish side should be considered contenders; Atletico Madrid.
Under boss Diego Simeone, Atleti have become recognised as the third biggest side in La Liga and Wenger says that European teams should watch out for this ‘surprise package.’
“For me, Atletico Madrid can be a surprise package: they can do the same as Borussia Dortmund did last year,” the Frenchman wrote in his Eurosport column.
“They have got really good midfield players and of course they have Diego Costa – and this guy is an absolute animal.
“They are a good team with their strength spread equally across all departments. In my opinion they are a candidate to win this competition outright.”
With Costa’s 10 league goals Atletico have won all eight of their matches in the Spanish top tier so far and sit second in the division, behind Barcelona on goal difference.
Simeone’s men, like the Gunners, have also won both of their Champions League ties so far against Zenit St. Petersburg and away at FC Porto.
If the side can maintain this rich vein of form then maybe Wenger’s words won’t seem so surprising come the final in May.