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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Atletico Madrid to face Gloria Bistrita in Intertoto

Posted by atleti on July 14, 2007

After two hard-fought rounds against OFK Grbalj (Montenegro) and Maccabi Haifa (defeating the Israelis 2-3 in penalties), Gloria Bistrita secure their spot to the third round of the Intertoto, where they will face Atletico Madrid. The Romanians will be looking to frustrate los Rojiblancos as they did to Israeli giants Maccabi. Atletico Madrid, of course, view this as a crucial two-legged hurdle they must jump to enter UEFA.

As I’ve mentioned for the past week or so, reaching UEFA is a top priority for the club. I imagine that manager Javier Aguirre will take no chances and field a fairly strong side against Gloria Bistrita to avoid penalties.

2007 UEFA Intertoto Cup third round
First leg: 21/22 July (away)
Second leg: 28/29 July (home)

For starters, Diego Forlán will arrive to Madrid this Monday, 16-July for his medical examination, after which he’ll be officially presented to the press. At this point, it’s unclear whether he’ll participate in the third round action against the Romanian club– that’s five days from this Monday. He has been very active the past few weeks in Copa America and I suspect manager Javier Aguirre will encourage him to rest a bit–perhaps train lightly with the squad to ‘familiarise’ himself with his new teammates.

The following players have participated in recent training sessions:

GK: Leo Franco, Cuellar, Abbiati and Falcón

Defence: Seitaridis, Zé Castro, Eller, Pernía, Antonio López, Pablo, Regalón (from ‘B’ team) and Perea

Midfield: Raúl García, Petrov, Maxi, Jurado, Maniche, Luccin, Costinha, Cléber Santana, Jacobo (from ‘B’ team), and Miguel de las Cuevas.

Forward: Mista, Braulio, and Diego

Besides Forlan and Aguero (still impressing at the U-20 World Cup!), Luis Garcia hasn’t had an opportunity to join his fellow teammates; he’s still recovering from knee surgery he received in January ’07.

In other news (well, in the rumour-mill, at least), Riquelme is still strongly linked to a move to el Vicente Calderon. The move would, as I’ve mentioned before, re-unite him with ex-Villarreal striker Forlan– as well as joining fellow Argentines Maxi, Aguero, and Leo Franco.

There’s also some speculation in the Spanish press on Atleti turning their backs to Quaresma and considering a possible transfer move for Benfica’s Simao Sabrosa. Again, at this point, it’s all unclear.

Stay tuned!

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