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Atletico Madrid's in-form midfielder Raul Garcia possibly demonstrates better than anyone in the La Liga club's squad how coach Diego Simeone has managed to get the best from players previously seen as underachievers. Deployed in a more offensive role than in past seasons, Garcia has netted 15 goals in all competitions, including four in the Champions League, comfortably surpassing his previous tally of 11 when he was on loan at Osasuna in Pamplona in 2011-12 . His header against AC Milan in Tuesday's 4-1 Champions League win at the Calderon, which put Atletico into the quarterfinals of Europe's elite club competition for the first time since 1997, was a typically accomplished effort and cemented his new status as one of the most popular team members among the club's supporters. Atletico last month rewarded Garcia, one of three club captains, with a contract extension to the end of June 2018, and sporting director Jose Luis Perez Caminero described him as "one of the strongest characters in the dressing room".
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