Atlético de Madrid

The love that hurts.

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    26 year old in New York; Passionate fan of the beautiful game; lover of Argentina (los Albicelestes); long-suffering, devoted supporter of Atlético Madrid (los Rojiblancos) for the past 13 years.
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Archive for July, 2007

Possible Formations (with squad as of 31-July-07)

Posted by atleti on July 31, 2007

—————-Leo Franco————
Seitaridis–Pablo–Eller–Antonio Lopez—-
—–Simao–Maniche–Maxi—Reyes——
————Aguero–Forlan————–

                          OR

———–Leo Franco————-
Seitaridis—Pablo–Eller–Antonio Lopez
————Raul Garcia—————–
Simao——–Maxi———-Reyes——
—————Kun——————-
—————Forlan——————

                      OR

————Leo Franco—————-
Seitaridis—Pablo–Eller–Antonio Lopez
——–Cleber——-Raul Garcia——–
Simao———-Maxi————–Reyes
——————Forlan—————-

etc, etc.

Hm, this is shaping up to be one great squad (although the defence still worries me)!

A Few Notes
-Perea and Fabiano Eller can sub for each other in that centre-back role (I still think one of them should make way for a more solid centre-back). I’d like to see Pablo in a starting 11 position.

-Luis Garcia, still nursing that injury, is the perfect player to come off the bench. Proven talent and always gives it his all.

-Between Luccin and Maniche, I’d give Maniche a starting position. He’s looked fairly good, so far, in pre-season.

-Jurado, on the bench.

-Brasilian midfielder Cleber Santana…not sure about him, but I won’t judge him until I see him on the pitch.

-Mista and Braulio (if he stays) to be used as back-up strikers.

-Perhaps Pernia and Ze Castro will stay? It’s still unclear at this point. Same goes for Diego Costa.

Posted in Atletico Madrid | Leave a Comment »

Amsterdam Tournament Mini-Update

Posted by atleti on July 31, 2007

Luis García, Simao Sabrosa, and Reyes are expected to debut in this pre-season tourney while Forlán, kun Aguero, Luis Perea, and Cléber Santana will be given this time to rest before the start of the season.

In addition to the above, here’s the rest of the squad taken to the Netherlands:  goalkeepers Leo Franco and Abbiati; defenders Seitaridis, Vara, Pablo, Eller, Zé Castro, Antonio López and Pernía; midfielders Maxi, Maniche, Jurado, Raúl García, Luccin and Costinha; and strikers Mista and Braulio.

It’s a two-game tournament for each club (Atleti, Ajax, Arsenal, and Lazio):

Thursday 2 August: Ajax v Atleti

Saturday 4 August: Lazio v Atleti

Here’s hoping no one picks up an injury! And hopefully it’ll be available on the Internet.

Posted in Amsterdam Tournament, Atletico Madrid, Jose Antonio Reyes, Luis Garcia, Simao Sabrosa | Leave a Comment »

Reyes Officially Transfers to Atlético

Posted by atleti on July 30, 2007

Well, that’s that. Jose Antonio Reyes finally finds a club willing to take him. He officially transferred to Atlético today after agreeing to a 4-year contract worth about €12 million.

I have mixed feelings on this. Reyes strikes me as a player who was desperate to play anywhere in Spain so as not to return to England.  The fact that he expressed such a strong desire to join Re*l M*drid at the end of the season– not to mention helping them win the domestic league– sickens me to no end.

That said, now that he’s a rojiblanco, I wish him the best of luck and hope that he adds creativity and more goal-scoring opportunities. Hopefully the 23 year old will prove his critics wrong with excellent performances on the pitch. All in all, from a technical standpoint, he’s a very good signing. (I’d love to see him score derby day!)

Reyes will join his new teammates in Amsterdam for the Amsterdam Tournament after his official presentation tomorrow (Tuesday).

Surely this means the end of Costinha?! More on possible squad formations tomorrow.

Jose Antonio Reyes joins Atlético Madrid after spending three years with Arsenal, his last year spent on loan to Real Madrid. He’s a versatile player that can play as a left-winger or support striker.

Posted in Amsterdam Tournament, Atletico Madrid, Jose Antonio Reyes, transfers | 2 Comments »

Atlético set to leave El Vicente Calderón

Posted by atleti on July 30, 2007

 

It’s official: the club website has confirmed that los rojiblancos will relocate to a new stadium by 2010; that means three seasons at the Vicente Calderón left. The old grounds will be used to create– among other things– a park called Parque Atlético de Madrid.

Click here for a mini video of Atleti’s new home. It might take a minute or two to load up.

The new stadium, which is expected to have a 73,000-spectator capacity, will be loaned to Atlético until 2016, at which point it will become the property of the club.

It’s a very delicate issue for supporters. On one hand, there’s an emotional, sentimental value to the Vicente Calderón; it has been the home of the club since 1966 and many feel management are selling away their past. On the other hand, in this day and age, it’s not unusual at all. Many clubs are relocating from their old grounds to better, more modernised stadiums and facilities (eg Arsenal left Highbury and Liverpool are prepared to leave Anfield). Again, it’s a very complicated issue.

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Stadium | 3 Comments »

Ship him out.

Posted by atleti on July 29, 2007

Today, during a training session, Portuguse midfielder Costinha punched Jacobo Ynclán in the face after the 20 year old canterano dangerously tackled him. The fight was broken up by a few players, judging by the photo, Brasilian Diego Costa.  

It just so happens that 50 or so Atleti supporters were watching the training when the incident occurred. Many began chanting ‘Dedicate a jugar al fútbol!’ to Costinha, who is not a fan favourite and has fallen down the pecking order. Ship him out now.

Atleti will have a day of rest tomorrow (Monday), before traveling to Amsterdam on Tuesday to continue their preparations for the Amsterdam Tournament, which I have discussed here. Their first game will be against Dutch giants, Ajax.

In other news, there’s an outrageous rumour circulating in the Spanish press that Jose Antonio Reyes– the on loan Arsenal player at Re*l M*drid, the one who lead them to league glory in 06/07– is on his way to becoming a rojiblanco. I won’t discuss this  at this moment because I have extremely mixed feelings on it. It’s better to wait and see if this is true or false, anyway!

Stay tuned.

Posted in Amsterdam Tournament, Atletico Madrid, Diego Costa, Rumours, transfers | Leave a Comment »

Atlético Madrid Enter UEFA!

Posted by atleti on July 28, 2007

After nearly 70 years of no European action, Atlético Madrid  beat Gloria Bistrita 2-2 (on away goals) to clinch a place in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Cup. They won the home leg 1-0 thanks to a fantastic, in-the-box strike by Forlán in the 11th minute, a defensive error on the part of the Romanian side.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t available for online viewing at all– and trust me, I checked everywhere. I listened via a Madrileño radio station.

Here are a few notes:

1st Half
-From beginning to his substitution in the 89th minute, Sergio ‘kun’ Agüero possessed immense strength, vision, and work ethic– not to mention absolute genius on the pitch. He was most unfortunate to not score a goal or two in the first half– he was on fire and no doubt had Atleti supporters at the edge of their seats with his promising performance this evening.

-Forlán and defender Pablo were also noted as having a solid first half– Forlán scoring his first goal as a rojiblanco by taking advantage of a defensive blunder by Gloria Bistrita. Indeed, I got the impression that kun and Forlán combined well– unfortunately, only one goal to show for it. All in all, the commentators noted the difference in attack with kun and Forlán when compared to the toothless front-line display of last weekend’s first leg of the Intertoto.

-Maniche was unfortunate to have his 32 min shot hit the bar.

-60% possession, and 4-5 clear shots at goal.

2nd Half
A lot of suffering in this half as there were defensive scares on the part of Atleti’s back-line. In the 59th minute, poor marking by– who else?– Luis Perea, almost led to an equalising goal for Gloria Bistrita.

Mariano Pernía was, to my surprise, chosen in the starting 11, but didn’t impress– from what I’ve read, it was ‘same-old, same-old’ by the Argentine left-back. Surely he’s on his way out of Atleti before the end of the summer–perhaps to Depor?

It was a usual, unimpressive performance by Luccin. Why he continues to occupy a starting 11 spot at all is beyond me. Es una verguenza.

Conclusion
Overall, I’m pleased: Atleti qualify for UEFA, Forlan scored his first goal for the club, and kun impressed with his performance. The best is yet to come.  I can hardly wait to see Simao in action.

Complaints? The defence is still very shaky and will be our downfall if we don’t strengthen it– in desperate need of a solid centre-back! The second half was less-than-convincing than the first half.

Leo Franco; Seitaridis (Eller 88’), Pablo, Perea, Pernía; Luccin, Maniche (Raúl García 76’), Maxi, Jurado; Forlán and Agüero (Braulio 89’).

Unused subs: Abbiatti, Antonio Lopez, Costinha, & Mista

Posted in Diego Forlan, Intertoto, Luis Perea, Pablo Ibanez, Sergio Aguero | 5 Comments »

Atlético Madrid’s Squad for Saturday’s Intertoto Game

Posted by atleti on July 27, 2007

Quick Entry.

Chosen squad for tomorrow’s home leg against Gloria Bistrita:

GK: Leo Franco & Abbiati

Defence: Seitaridis, Pablo, Perea, Fabiano Eller, Antonio López & Pernía

Midfield: Maxi, Maniche, Luccin, Jurado, Costinha & Raúl García

Strikers: Mista, Braulio, Forlán & Agüero.

Missing: Luis García & Cléber Santana are unavailable (injury/fitness).

Also Missing: Zé Castro, Portuguese centre-back, rumoured to be on his way out of the club this summer.

No Preview from me, but I hope that the team win by a comfortable margin and ease through to UEFA.  Also: this’ll be the first game Forlan and Aguero play for the club this season. Let’s hope they combine well and get on the scoresheet.

Click here for my thoughts on the 1st leg, away to Gloria Bistrita.

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Intertoto | 4 Comments »

Simao Sabrosa Officially Joins Atlético Madrid!

Posted by atleti on July 27, 2007

Atletico have officially signed winger Simao Sabrosa on a 4-year contract worth €20 million; he is the 7th signing the club have made for the 07/08 season and a very, very good one. The club shelled out an enormous amount for him and I hope that he proves his worth this season. He has excellent technical ability, an eye for goal, and can play on either flank. I suspect that the 27 year old winger will occupy the left, due to the exit of Martin Petrov and with Luis Garcia still recovering from knee surgery.

I am very pleased to be joining Atlético and I hope to be able to achieve great things.

A product of the Sporting CP youth system, Simao has previously played in Liga for Barcelona. After a mediocre period with the Catalan club, he returned to Portugal to play for Benfica– where he has played for the past 6 years, earning captainship.

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Simao Sabrosa, transfers | 3 Comments »

Goodbye Petrov; Hola Simao.

Posted by atleti on July 26, 2007

Petrov is set to sign for Manchester City after agreeing to an 8 million euro contract. I liked Petrov and am sad to see him go, but since that awful knee ligament injury and the recent arrival of Luis Garcia, his future at the club has been in doubt. Best of luck to him at Manchester City…

Meanwhile, Simao Sabrosa is on his way to Madrid today to sign a 4-year contract with los rojiblancos. The figure reported at the moment is very high, €20m, and might rise to 25 as it is believed there’s a portion of the contract that is performance-based. AS reports that there’s a possibility midfielder Costinha or  defender Ze Castro might be included in the deal.

Stay tuned for official details!

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Martin Petrov, Rumours, Simao Sabrosa, transfers, Ze Castro | Leave a Comment »

Pablo Ibañez Commits to Atlético (plus a look at the current status of the club’s defence)

Posted by atleti on July 25, 2007

 

Centre-back Pablo has dismissed a possible move to Real Zaragoza or Deportivo La Coruña today by making it clear he wishes to stay with los rojiblancos:

I have the support of the coach and board to allow me to stay here…I feel like an important player here and I want prove that I am this season.

At the moment, here’s the defence: 

Yourkas Seitaridis
Antonio Lopez
Mariano Pernia
Fabiano Eller
Ze Castro
Pablo Ibanez
Luis Perea
Juan Valera

I’ll break each one down a bit.

Yourkas Seitaridis
I wasn’t a fan of the Greek when he first arrived with Costinha from Dynamo Moscow, but he has grown on me a bit. The 26-year right-back (perhaps the best Greek right-back at the moment?)– in both the club and the international level– has some technical skill in the backline, but also provides a certain level of ‘attacking dimension’. His weakness, I think, is in crossing & maintaining focus.

Antonio López
The 25 year old Spaniard can play as a left-back or left-winger– I consider him a complete footballer, for the most part: decent technical ability and flexibility to play in both defence and midfield, when needed. In terms of left-backs, he’s the best option at the moment, particularly since he’s also attack-minded and drives forward when given an opportunity. At the same time, he needs to perfect his defensive play as he lacks that extra bit of strength to prevent ‘leaks’ in the Atletico back-line.

Mariano Pernía
The 30 year old Argentine is passed it, plain and simple, and should not be granted a starting 11 position: completely failed to impressed in 06/07. If he doesn’t leave this summer (and I would be surprised if he didn’t), I can very well see him continuing to occupy a spot on the bench, subbing for Antonio López.

Fabiano Eller
29 year old Brasilian centre-back brought in during the January transfer market. He lacks pace and often looks scatter-brained.

Ze Castro
The 24 year old Portuguese centre-back hasn’t been a regular starter since the arrival of Eller. There was some speculation that Chelsea were interested; there was also some speculation of Atleti offering him to Portuguese clubs (namely Porto) to lessen the price tags of particular players. He’s certainly a player that should make an exit from the club, for the sake of beefing up the back-line.

Luis Perea
28 year old Colombian centre-back. There was some speculation that he was headed to Villarreal, but that died out once Forlan completed his transfer. In truth, he’s a player that worries me because he’s inconsistent. He often lacks concentration, poor positioning sense, and can be an extremely poor marker, too. Although he has been at Atletico for nearly three years and has gained Spanish citizenship due to his time in the country, I think it’s time he and the club parted ways– this would allow the club to invest in a solid, more reliable centre-back.

Juan Valera
There’s not much to say about him. He suffered a long-term injury last season and hasn’t had an opportunity to demonstrate his defensive skills at the club. So, the jury is still very much out on him.

In other news, the Simao and Quaresma sagas continue…nothing incredibly new has materialised today.

As for Petrov, it’s no longer a matter of ‘if’ but of ‘when’ he’ll leave and to where. So far, it looks like a move to the EPL is imminent.

Posted in Antonio Lopez, Atletico Madrid, Fabiano Eller, Giorgios Seitaridis, Juan Valera, Luis Perea, Martin Petrov, Pablo Ibanez, Rumours, transfers, Ze Castro | 2 Comments »