The capital outfit were somewhat surprise winners of the Spanish championship last season, claiming their first league trophy since 1996.
"Atleti have the same ideas as they did last season, and have maybe even perfected them. Before the league had started last year, I thought they looked like a clear contender for the title, and I also think they'll do well in the Champions League again," he told reporters.
"As for Real Madrid, they're our eternal rival and have made some very good signings too."
Barcelona face Elche in their La Liga opener on Sunday evening.