Legendary former defender Maicon believes that Inter Milan need both their “hearts and their heads” to go through against Atletico Madrid.

The Brazilian spoke to Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport in an interview published in today’s print edition, via FCInterNews.

Maicon is a player who knows what it takes to go all the way in the Champions League.

The iconic former defender was a key part of the Inter team that won Europe’s top club competition to complete the Treble during the 2009-10 season.

Naturally, this Nerazzurri side are aiming for something similar.

Inter got to the final last season, but fell at the last hurdle. They lost 1-0 in the final against Manchester City, despite defying expectations by going toe-to-toe with the Premier League juggernauts.

Maicon: Inter Need “Heads & Hearts” Against Atletico Madrid

This time around, Inter are currently vying for a spot in the quarterfinals against Atletico.

The Nerazzurri have a slender 1-0 advantage from the first leg of their round of sixteen tie. But they will know that that is no reason to take anything for granted.

Inter showed last season that they know what it takes to navigate tough away matches in Europe.

And the team will need to produce the same kind of performance against Atletico this evening.

And former defender Maicon has a clear idea of what that would mean.

“We need to use both our heads and our hearts to go through,” the Brazilian said.

“We have to always stay on track.”

Maicon also gave his thoughts on striker Marcus Thuram. “You can see that he’s a positive person in training,” he said of the Frenchman.

“And then, we’ve all seen what kind of a striker he is.”

“He takes defenders where he wants, he protects the ball,” Maicon said of the Nerazzurri striker, who arrived last summer on a free transfer.

“He is good at linking up with teammates. And he also has an eye for goal.”

As far as this evening’s match against Atletico, Maicon anticipated that it will be “Tough. Really tough.”

“Morata and Griezmann are unpredictable,” the former defender noted.

“In the first leg, Inter showed that they were superior. But they didn’t score the second goal they would have deserved, and now they have to play with the smallest advantage possible in a tough away atmosphere.”

“It’s a match that they have to get through without anxiety,” Maicon noted. “But Inzaghi has shown that he is capable of that.”

“And then if they get through, their confidence – which is already high – will only grow even more. And then, who knows…”