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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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.

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

  1. rio said

    heard there were 2 players going with the 20m for simao? who will the 2 be?

  2. atleti said

    Still unclear at this point, but AS mentioned Costinha and Ze Castro.

    We’ll definitely know tomorrow.

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