Atlético de Madrid

The love that hurts.

  • About Me

    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 the ‘Braulio’ Category

14-October Interview of GARCÍA PITARCH

Posted by atleti on October 15, 2007

Here’s an eye-opening interview of Garcia Pitarch, sporting director. Some of the phrasing is difficult to translate to English, but I tried my best.

INTERVIEWER: The name Riquelme [looms constantly…]…
Reply: The [expectation is normal]. There are, of course, external factors: the media, who give their opinion. And fans believe them, but that’s not how it is. Reality is another factor. With everything that surrounded him…I see that it was the best decision [to not go through with the transfer]. I’m glad that we did not sign him.

MY THOUGHTS: He’s glad we didn’t sign Riquelme?! So, he must obviously be happy we signed mediocre Eller and Cleber instead? RIDICULOUS.

INTERVIEWER: Each poor result will be a reminder of the transfer.
Reply: It’s all because of the Copa America. If not, there would be no case for Riquelme, and no expectations.

MY THOUGHTS: Here he claims that had it not been for Riquelme’s splendid display in the Copa America, there wouldn’t be a fuss or demand for him to join Atleti. This seems a bit bizarre. Yes, Riquelme had a fantastic Copa America, but he’s still one of the greatest footballers in the world. Granted, he is temperamental, which can be a deterrent, but to say that the attention over him was simply and only because of this summer’s Copa America is ludricous.

INTERVIEWER: But there is [still] debate [on it.]
Reply: No, that’s football. Had it not been Riquelme, it would have been Torres. This time around it was Riquelme; in Athletic Bilbao it was with Ezquerro and with Madrid it was with Kaka.

INTERVIEWER: Do you understand the idiosyncrasies of Atleti?
Reply: Valencia have a similar situation. But there is something that makes [Atleti] special. It’s that mystique of pessimism[…] I do not believe in it[…]

INTERVIEWER: Pablo continues to play; Jurado came from arch rivals [Real Madrid]; Reyes…
Reply: If the club decides to count on a footballer, it will do so [without the interference of the media, which is fleeting and not permanent]. It was a sporting decision and, every passing day, it’s clear that the club made the right decision. Pablo has returned to his best form, Jurado is important in the squad, and the supporters already see Reyes as indispensible[…]

INTERVIEWER: What do you know about the [extortion] of the ultras to the players in exchange for applause?
Reply: Nothing. Our work is subjected to social pressure, which fanatical groups are apart of. I do not know of any extortion. The only opinions I read are in blogs [and writings]…If that’s it, then there isn’t a problem.

INTERVIEWER: How did you feel when Torres announced his departure?
Reply: [We suspected it.] In fact, the previous season we signed Mista because we thought he might have left after the EURO games then. We had signed Forlan before his official exit.

MY THOUGHTS: Wait, WHAT? Another ridiculous decision. They extended Mista’s contract because they viewed him as a possible replacement for Torres when they thought he might leave?! Sad, truly sad. Lamentable.

INTERVIEWER: Were there bids for other players?
Reply: For Pablo, Seitaridis, Pernia, Maniche, Mista, and Maxi. But we counted on these players. With those with only one year left to their contracts, I suggested a transfer. That happened with Galletti, Petrov, and Luccin…

MY THOUGHTS: Among others, I still think it was a poor decision to keep Mista and let Atleti youngster Braulio go out on loan to Getafe.

INTERVIEWER: Will the club [prevent a departure of Agüero]?
Reply: Kun has an important clause in his contract. The market is [troubled] and there are few talented youngsters. If the club keep him, good; if not, the clause is high– and if [clubs] want him, it would be good business.

MY THOUGHTS: So, they’re basically willing to sell our top player for the right price. Depressing and appalling. Yes, I’m aware that it will always be difficult for us to hold on to our best players, but, even so, the club are ready to sell out for a pretty penny.

INTERVIEWER: So, who signs then: Gil, Cerezo, you, or Quilón?
Reply: […the President, the general director, the coach, and myself…]

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Braulio, Diego Forlan, Fernando Torres, Javier Aguirre, Jose Antonio Reyes, Juan Roman Riquelme, Jurado, Pablo Ibanez, Sergio Aguero | 9 Comments »

Transfer News: Goodbye Braulio, for now.

Posted by atleti on August 29, 2007

The 22 year old striker has officially signed for suburban neighbours Getafe on a season-long loan. I’m a bit disappointed that he was not chosen as 3rd striker. Hopefully he’ll come back to the club in 08/09 as a top prospect.

Best of luck, Braulio.

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Braulio, transfers | Leave a Comment »

Atlético Madrid’s Chosen Squad for Tomorrow’s Derbi

Posted by atleti on August 24, 2007

I have pre-derbi thoughts below; this is an addendum to that with some recent news.

Here’s the chosen squad:

Leo Franco, Abbiati, Seitaridis, Pablo Ibáñez, Perea, Fabiano Eller, Pernía, Antonio López, Maniche, Cléber Santana, Raúl García, Luis García, Simão, Reyes, Maxi Rodríguez, Kun Agüero, Forlán and Mista.

It’s a bit curious to me that Braulio was left out– I’ve been a bit impressed by his pre-season form and enthusiasm to stay with the club. Mista, on the other hand, has been a complete waster on the pitch this summer, often times disappearing and not having any sort of presence or attacking prowess. Manager Aguirre did mention recently that he views Braulio as an important asset to the squad this summer, so hopefully that means he won’t be loaned out or sold away.

I was a bit upset to read that Aguirre still considers rubbish Luccin as a part of the 07/08 campaign. Why, Aguirre, WHY? Please, I hope this is just for keeping up appearances and that Luccin is in fact on his way out. Perhaps a lack of playing time will frustrate him enough to force a move out.

Defender Zé Castro, Julian Vara, and goalkeeper Falcón also didn’t participate in today’s pre-derbi training session.

Other players (besides Braulio and Luccin) that Aguirre mentioned as being part of his 07/08 campaign: Jurado (who can’t play against his ex-club), Miguel de las Cuevas (still recuperating), and Juan Valera (still recuperating).


Maxi is “confident” that Atleti can win against arch rivals, Re*l M*drid, while Reyes went a bit further (cheekier) and said, “We will win 0-2 and I will score a goal.”

We’ve done the talk, now it’s time to do the walk.


Posted in Antonio Lopez, Atletico Madrid, Braulio, Christian Abbiati, Cleber Santana, Derby, Diego Forlan, Fabiano Eller, Giorgios Seitaridis, Javier Aguirre, Jose Antonio Reyes, Juan Valera, Jurado, Leo Franco, Luis Garcia, Luis Perea, Maniche, Mariano Pernia, Maxi Rodriguez, Pablo Ibanez, Raul Garcia, Sergio Aguero, Simao Sabrosa, Vara, Ze Castro | Leave a Comment »

Pre-Thoughts: Madrid Derby aka El Derbi Madrileño

Posted by atleti on August 24, 2007

History Lesson
Did you know that La Liga season has kicked-off with the Madrid derbi only three times in the history of league?

1960/61 Season: Atlético won it 1-0 and bragging rights. Atleti finished this season in 2nd place.

In 1997/98 (a decade ago!): both clubs shared the points in a 1-1 draw. Although Atleti finished 7th that season, they still qualified for UEFA Cup action.

And now the 07/08 season!

General Thoughts
Re*l M*drid are under an extraordinary amount of pressure after having a rather lacklustre, unimpressive pre-season– a pre-season crisis, no less, which led to the most recent buys of Heinze from Manchester United and Arjen Robben from Chelsea. Desperate times call for desperate measures– nearly 120 million euros worth of desperate measures! What do you expect?

Atleti, for our part, have shelled out quite a bit during this summer for Raul Garcia, Cleber Santana, Reyes, Luis Garcia, Simao, and Forlan- all who have proven their immense talent and skill during the pre-season (with the exception of Cleber, who only played one game as a rojiblanco). Indeed, the end of the Torres era (while sad and full of uncertainty, initially) has dawned a new era for the club. We have bonafide goal-scorers in the squad. Kun, on his own, has proven his hunger and desire to succeed in the club this season– I can’t begin to say how impressed I am with his pre-season form (both at the U-20 World Cup and upon his return to Spain): abundant creativity & phenomenal work-rate by the young Argentine.

All in all, I’m very confident and have absolute faith in this squad of players and I’m practically salivating at the thought of los rojiblancos playing a Re*l M*drid (who are still licking their wounds after that hilarious 3-6 (agg) defeat by Sevilla).

At this moment (Thursday evening, NY Time), it’s unclear who manager Aguirre will pick as his starting 11. Many across the boards say he might choose the same squad that defeated Vojvodina 0-3 in the 1st UEFA Qualifier.

That lineup:

———–Leo Franco———
—Raul Garcia—Maniche——-

I quite like this one. It worked extremely well. He used Reyes, Jurado, and Luis Garcia as subs.

Or, perhaps this might work:

—Raul Garcia—Maniche——-

Or, maybe:
——– Abbiati(impressed me quite a bit!)—
Seitaridis–Pablo— Perea—-Pernia
— Raul Garcia—-Maniche——–
—Maxi—————— Reyes—
—-Forlan—— Kun Aguero——

I admit, I lean more towards the 1st choice. These other two are formations I’ve come up with right now.

Press Talks
There’ve been quite a few press interviews, many references to the derbi; here are a few:

Maxi: [Derbies and openers] are the best matches to play. If you begin with a win, it gives you so much more confidence for the upcoming encounters

Pablo: Real Madrid will come out angry on Saturday after the defeat to Sevilla…But perhaps Atletico are a tad better than Madrid at the moment.

Forlan: I don’t think that we’re coming in as favourites, as they play at home and that’s an advantage.

Maniche: If there is a favourite in the derby, it’s Real Madrid…We are up against a team with excellent players, but we also have a great [team] and I know that we can play a good game.

Manager Aguirre: We are not any less than them. I say this with respect to them, but we are going to face up to them and fight for the three points, because we don’t feel inferior…We just want to go without any complexes – just with a desire to win.

BOTTOM LINE: Hay que ganar a estos putos chulos en su puta casa!



More details to come.

Posted in Antonio Lopez, Atletico Madrid, Braulio, Christian Abbiati, Cleber Santana, Derby, Diego Forlan, Fabiano Eller, Giorgios Seitaridis, Javier Aguirre, Jose Antonio Reyes, Juan Valera, Jurado, Leo Franco, Luis Garcia, Luis Perea, Maniche, Mariano Pernia, Maxi Rodriguez, Pablo Ibanez, Raul Garcia, Sergio Aguero, Simao Sabrosa, Ze Castro | Leave a Comment »

Derby Day & The Rumour Mill

Posted by atleti on August 21, 2007

Due to international duty, quite a few key players were unavailable for this week’s training session, namely Pablo, Pernia, Maxi, Seitaridis, Simao, Raul Garcia, and Jurado.

Who did participate? Leo Franco; Falcón; Antonio López; Luccin; Braulio; Mista; Zé Castro; Maniche; Vara; Eller; Kun; Reyes; Perea; Luis García; Forlán; Cléber Santana.

Early Thoughts on the Derby
The main focus is to have everyone uninjured, in tip-top shape for Saturday. I must say that I’m feeling very confident about derby at the Bern*beu. The Madrid-based media is completely out-of-control over Re*l M*drid‘s lacklustre pre-season form…pre-season crisis talks, essentially! Pressure is mounting for Schuster and he will want to start off the official 07/08 campaign with a win– Atleti cannot let their guard down and we must exploit their weak areas, namely their defence.

RUMOUR MILL has been a bit busy lately. Here are a few of the latest:

Costinha set for Serie A club Atalanta. MARCA (followed by GOAL.COM) jumped the gun and reported this, but it has not been made official since the media has reported it. I’m not surprised by the rumour– in fact, I do expect Costinha to leave before Saturday.

-AS reports the possibility of Peter Luccin departing for Benfica. This would no doubt mean Maniche and Raul Garcia would occupy centre-midfield, no? The AS article also seems to suggest that the departure of Luccin could make way for Riquelme— I highly doubt it.

-Spanish media also reports Benfica are interested in midfielder Miguel de las Cuevas. This, I hope, is not true. The poor Spanish midfielder is still recovering from an awful injury he sustained nearly year ago. If he stays, I can very well see him making sub-appearances for Atleti once he’s deemed fit. I’d be disappointed to see him let go.

Diego Costa— the young Brasilian striker who scored a goal against Getafe is rumoured to be on his way, whether it be on loan or permanently. He’s viewed as excess, in terms of extracommunitarians.

Mista. Dear old, well passed it, Mista. I’d love to see him go as it would allow Atleti youth striker Braulio an opportunity to be 3rd choice striker.

Ze Castro, another player linked to a move back to Portugal.

Let’s see how things pan out these next few days.

Posted in Antonio Lopez, Atletico Madrid, Braulio, Cleber Santana, Diego Costa, Diego Forlan, Fabiano Eller, Giorgios Seitaridis, Javier Aguirre, Jose Antonio Reyes, Juan Roman Riquelme, Juan Valera, Jurado, Leo Franco, Luis Garcia, Luis Perea, Maniche, Mariano Pernia, Mario Suarez, Martin Petrov, Maxi Rodriguez, Pablo Ibanez, Raul Garcia, Rumours, Sergio Aguero, Simao Sabrosa, Vara, Ze Castro | Leave a Comment »

Friendly: Getafe 0 Atlético Madrid 2

Posted by atleti on August 18, 2007

I had an opportunity to watch this friendly this afternoon (4.00pm NY time). It was a very physical game between the two Madrid clubs- Getafe entered the competition much hungrier for a win from the start, it must be said.  That said, they could not find the back of the net– they did have a goal wrongfully called offside though and they did test goalkeeper Abbiati a few times.

Diego Costa scored a great, unstoppable goal in the 54th minute thanks to a pass by Reyes. The second goal, scored by Reyes, was also quite good, thanks to a pass by Atleti B defender Julian Vara.

Here are a few, random notes:

Stand-out performance: Christian Abbiati- superb game for the Milan goalkeeper on loan to Atleti this season. This is the second performance where he has demonstrated his strong goalkeeping abilities. I wouldn’t be surprised if he received more playing time during the season!

Great performances: the two subs, Braulio and Diego Costa– here’s hoping they stay and Costinha and Mista are shown the door. They injected pace and provide ‘new ideas’ when they’re on the pitch. I can see them contributing to the squad if they stay this season.

Luis Garcia and Reyes have so far had a very solid pre-season– thankfully, both of them didn’t pick up any injuries. In fact, they both played the full 90 minutes (Luis Garcia was subbed out a few minutes before full-time).

Defence was a bit shaky and looked a bit like last season’s defence.

Cleber Santana— not a particularly good first performance for the Brasilian. A rather poor 1st half, the 2nd half was a bit of an improvement. I can’t judge him yet on one display– I will need to see him play a bit more.

Abbiati; Vara; Eller; Zé Castro; Antonio López; Costinha (Cléber min 25); Luccin; Reyes; Luis García (Mario Suárez min 86); Jurado (Diego Costa min 54); Mista (Braulio min 54)

7 days until the start of the season, folks! First Game? El Derbi Madrileño (25-August) at the Bernabéu!

Posted in Antonio Lopez, Atletico Madrid, Braulio, Christian Abbiati, Cleber Santana, Diego Costa, Fabiano Eller, Javier Aguirre, Jurado, Luis Garcia, Mario Suarez, Vara, Ze Castro | 1 Comment »

Friendly: Getafe v Atletico

Posted by atleti on August 18, 2007

Today the boys play a local friendly against neighbours Getafe. Since the departure of Schuster to Real Madrid, Getafe have been managed by Dane Michael Laudrup. So far, under his charge, have won all 7 of their pre-season friendlies.

Manager Aguirre plans on playing  a second-string side to the friendly for most of the game, giving key players a rest.

Chosen Squad:

GK: Abbiati, Falcón,

Defence: Vara, Zé Castro, Eller, Regalón, Antonio López, Seitaridis

Midfield: Jurado, Luccin, Cléber Santana, Luis García, Reyes, Diego Costa, Mario Suárez, Costinha(!), Maniche, Raul Garcia,

Strikers: Mista, Braulio, Forlan, Aguero.

New faces to the squad: finally, Brasilian Cleber will play! Atleti B player Mario Suarez is also a new addition to the squad.

The result will be meaningless, but the fitness aspect will be great for this squad. Hopefully they will play with a good understanding and win against a flawless pre-season Getafe. Here’s hoping no one gets injured, too!

In other news, yesterday there was a basic training session; Juan Valera continued to train on his own, on the road to recovery.

Of Note: Management granted Costinha permission to not participate in the training session- hm, sounds like he’s on his way out of the club, no? Good riddance. Perhaps a move to the EPL or Serie A is at hand?

RUMOUR MILL: Some very loose speculation that Ze Castro might be interested in a move back to Portugal, to Benfica.

RUMOUR MILL: Recoba has openly ruled out a move to newly promoted Juventus, but might consider a transfer to Torino or Napoli. No mention of Atletico.

Posted in Antonio Lopez, Atletico Madrid, Braulio, Christian Abbiati, Cleber Santana, Diego Costa, Fabiano Eller, Jose Antonio Reyes, Juan Valera, Jurado, Luis Garcia, Mario Suarez, Regalon, Rumours, Vara, Ze Castro | Leave a Comment »

Manager Aguirre Gives in to the Pressure

Posted by atleti on August 15, 2007


Good news, fellow Colchoneros! Sergio ‘kun’ Aguero will play in the starting 11 tomorrow (UEFA qualifer) after much pressure from the media (particularly in Argentina) and supporters (although Aguirre claims it was a rumour that he wasn’t considering including Aguero to the lineup). In any case,  Many– including myself– feel relieved that the young Argentine has earned a spot alongside Diego Forlan after his fine form during the U-20 World Cup. I’m very happy with this decision.

Brasilian midfielder Cléber Santana is–as mentioned below– the only new player who hasn’t played for the club.


Leo Franco, Abbiati

Seitaridis, Eller, Perea, Pablo, Antonio Lopez, Pernia

Luccin, Raul Garcia, Maniche, Maxi, Jurado

Forlan, Luis Garcia, Sergio Aguero, Reyes, Simao.

Aguirre on tomorrow’s clash:

It will be nice to go into the second leg with a cushion. It is important not to concede, and then try to create chances, make our quality show at the other end.

However, we must always remember that this is about 180 minutes, and not 90.

Aupa Atleti! Let’s win comfortably.

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Braulio, Christian Abbiati, Cleber Santana, Diego Forlan, Fabiano Eller, Giorgios Seitaridis, Javier Aguirre, Jose Antonio Reyes, Jurado, Leo Franco, Luis Garcia, Luis Perea, Maniche, Mariano Pernia, Maxi Rodriguez, Pablo Ibanez, Raul Garcia, Sergio Aguero, Simao Sabrosa, UEFA | 2 Comments »

Thoughts on Offence & Defence

Posted by atleti on August 10, 2007

Los Rojiblancos had a non-strenous training session yesterday (Thursday) after their return from Vigo. Luis Garcia, who didn’t travel with the squad for the friendly, rejoined the team and participated in the session. Centre-back Ze Castro, who also didn’t travel to Vigo, is still slightly injured and participated in a much lighter session in the gymnasium.

Antonio Lopez and Jose Antonio Reyes were the only ones absent from training: they exercised earlier that day and took the rest of the day off for personal time.

Perea, Cléber Santana, Diego Forlán and Sergio Agüero are back in Madrid from their holidays. They’re expected to train tomorrow (Saturday) with the rest of the squad.

According to MARCA (be wary of the source), Atletico are apparently keen on signing one more midfielder (central midfielder, that is)– especially if rubbish Costinha finds a club that’ll take him. Manager Aguirre has been focused on improving the offence after last season’s countless goal droughts. I still worry about defence and am a bit surprised nothing has been done to improve that aspect of the team (sorry to sound like a broken record!).

Mind you, there has been plenty of speculation this pre-season about the defence (one rumour linked Perea to Villarreal during the Forlan transfer, Ze Castro was linked to a move back to Portugal, and Barcelona’s Rafael Marquez was briefly linked to the club when his future at the Catalan capital was in doubt). Nothing has become of any of the speculation. Having said all this, from what I’ve seen so far, we are vulnerable to counter-attacks. If the backline stays as is, they need to work on organisation and concentration. If not, pacey strikers will cause us trouble.

Yesterday evening, I was pondering about our offensive line. The new signings have added pace and attacking edge as I’ve mentioned previously, which is fantastic. We are creating goal-scoring opportunities and troubling defences– what’s missing at this point? We haven’t converted many of these opportunities to goals. Of course, it’s still pre-season, so I do believe the pieces will come together once Forlan and Aguero return to training.

If manager Aguirre continues using a 4-2-3-1 formation, Forlan would undoubtedly act as our strong centre-forward. This would mean, though, that Aguero is benched. I’d personally prefer a Forlan-Aguero frontline with Braulio as 3rd choice striker.

In other completely unrelated news, I will watch Aston Villa v Liverpool this Saturday to see The Kid‘s first Premier League game.

Posted in Antonio Lopez, Atletico Madrid, Braulio, Cleber Santana, Diego Forlan, Javier Aguirre, Jose Antonio Reyes, Luis Garcia, Luis Perea, Maxi Rodriguez, Raul Garcia, Rumours, Sergio Aguero, Simao Sabrosa, transfers, Ze Castro | 1 Comment »

Pre-season Friendly: Celta Vigo 0 Atlético Madrid 0

Posted by atleti on August 8, 2007

This was not the scoreline I was expecting at all. It was the story of the two-faced Atleti: a  good, dominating first half…and an average, boring second half. Los Rojiblancos did end up winning el Trofeo Ciudad de Vigo in penalties, 4-2. Meaningless pre-season friendly, of course.

Random Notes
-We were awarded two penalties in the first half, when we were dominant and potent; unfortunately, we failed to convert them into goals. Who was at fault? Maxi and Maniche. Maxi, again hard-working, but still in search of his form.

-Manager Aguirre made 9 changes in the second half that left the team playing rather disjointly and ‘disorganised’. On the other hand, it did allow everyone some playing time. In terms of fitness, a good decision, I suppose.

-Poor performances, again, by Mista and Costinha; mediocre performance by Pernia; lacklustre display by Antonio Lopez. Luccin? No comment, as per usual.

Leo Franco (Abbiati 46); Seitaridis (Vara 46), Pablo (Regalón 70), Eller, Pernía (Antonio López 46); Raúl García (Costinha 46), Maniche (Luccin 46), Maxi, Simao (Diego Costa 46); Mista (Braulio 46), Reyes (Jurado 46).

Posted in Antonio Lopez, Atletico Madrid, Braulio, Christian Abbiati, Diego Costa, Fabiano Eller, Giorgios Seitaridis, Javier Aguirre, Jose Antonio Reyes, Leo Franco, Mariano Pernia, Maxi Rodriguez, Pablo Ibanez, Raul Garcia, Simao Sabrosa | 2 Comments »