Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone denied his outfit are a "violent side" as they prepare to face rivals Real Madrid on Saturday.
Physicality has been a feature of Atletico's style and helped them claim the La Liga title last season.
Simeone said high pressure and intensity were keys for his team, but denied they were violent.
"I see Atletico's way of playing as a natural path," the Argentine told a news conference.
"You can discuss about or having an opinion but this is football where there is a lot of contact between the players. After that there is a referee who must assess which challenges are illegal.
"We are not a violent side although we are a team with a lot of work putting pressure and playing with intensity.
"Those were our weapons to gain respect from every team last year. Hopefully this year we keep on fighting because that was our line last year for achieving everything we did the years before."
Atletico have already claimed bragging rights over Real Madrid, winning the Supercopa de Espana in August.
Simeone said his team had the utmost respect for Carlo Ancelotti's side.
"I think every team has respect to the rivals. I don't think there is a team who play without the respect we are talking about," he said.
"Always before a match there is a respect for the rival but sometimes some situations happen during the match but the respect is always in every team."comments