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 ‘Christian Abbiati’ Category

Jornada 33: Atlético de Madrid v Real Betis

Posted by atleti on April 18, 2008

#4 Atleti 54 points.
#13 Betis 41 points.

We played Betis in their stadium back in December and won them (0-2).

Now we must play them at home…

Here’s Aguirre’s starting 11:
STARTING 11: Leo Franco; Seitaridis, Pablo, Perea, Antonio López; Cléber, Raúl García, Maxi, Simão; Agüero & Forlán.

SUBS: Abbiati, Eller, Pernía, Luis García, Reyes, Miguel, Camacho.

New faces in the starting 11: Cléber & Seitaridis. Any predictions on how this will affect our play?

06/07 season: 0-0 draw.
05/06 season: Betis were in the second division.
04/05 season: 1-2 loss for us.
03/04 season: 2-1 win for us.
02/03 season: 1-0 win for us.

Betis will be without injured Edu & Caffa. Plus, their Argentine striker Pavone will be serving a suspension.

Betis’ recent five results:
Betis 0 Levante 1
Zaragoza 0 Betis 3
Betis 3 Barcelona 2
Osasuna 0 Betis 1
Racing 3 Betis 0

Fairly inconsistent run for Beticos, which explains their position in the league table.

Here’s a likely lineup:
Ricardo (or Casto), Ilic (or Damiá), Juanito, Melli, Fernando Vega; Arzu, Capi (or Juande), Odonkor, Xisco (or Babic); Sobis & Fernando.

Biggest threats, I think, are Sobis & Odonkor.

A win is crucial for us to secure a Champions spot! I don’t care how we do it… let’s just collect the three points.

In other news, it looks like Abbiati is set to return to Milan at the end of the season. A good long-term decision, I would say.

Meanwhile, Jurado could be headed to Mallorca as the club seek to improve and offload several players ahead of the 08/09 season.

Anything missing? Share!

Saludos y Aupa Atleti

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Christian Abbiati, Cleber Santana, Giorgios Seitaridis, Jurado | 44 Comments »

Back from the dead.

Posted by atleti on March 12, 2008

When Atleti lose, it demotivates me…a lot. All I want to do is sing their praises here, but when they lose against the likes of Zaragoza in such a disgraceful manner, it’s, well, discouraging…to the point where I can’t even bring myself to blog about the mayhem.

Hence, the blog-laziness.

/rant over.

Moving on…

It’s short. Motta is still in the USA recuperating from his latest knee operation while Valera continues to recuperate from the knock he picked up against Zaragoza.

Maxi left the latest training session early because he had a bit of pain…precautionary decision.

Seitaridis has been participating in training sessions after nearly three months out with injury. Same goes for Leo Franco, but I doubt the Argentine will play much.  Should Abbiati continue on as 1st choice keeper or should Leo Franco reclaim his spot? I’d stick with Abbiati at this point.

Word is we’re looking for a club for Reyes, easily the worst signing of 07/08. …12 million euros down the drain, but thank goodness he’ll be shown the exit at the end of the season.

Anyway, next up? #20 Levante at home…

…be back with an entry on that.

Anything missing? Share.

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Christian Abbiati, Giorgios Seitaridis, Juan Valera, Leo Franco, Maxi Rodriguez, Thiago Motta | 24 Comments »

Jornada 18: Deportivo de La Coruña 0 Atlético de Madrid 3

Posted by atleti on January 6, 2008

After 18 long years, Los Colchoneros finally collect 3 points at Estadio Riazor– against a very poor, clueless Deportivo.

BRIEFLY: Our overall game was average, but the goals were of the highest quality.

Abbiati; Perea, Pablo, Eller, Antonio López; Raúl García, Jurado (73′ Luis García), Maxi, Simão (75′ Reyes); Kun Agüero (67′ Cléber) and Forlán.

39′ Forlán (great pass from the left flank by Antonio)
52′ Agüero (counter-attack goal; cool, world-class finishing by Kun)
64′ Jurado (powerful header!)

A Few Thoughts
*Great game for Antonio, in both defence & when moving forward. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t be given more playing time. Pernía is passed it.

*Surprisingly good game for Perea, who continues as right-back with Seitaridis unavailable. Very efficient and focused.

*Raúl García– always a consistently good player. He cleared a ball from the line before Kun scored our 2nd goal. That was certainly the turning point of the game.

*Jurado was average, I thought. Apart from his fantastic goal, his performance was adequate at best. Jurado & Cleber aren’t our answer to the central midfield, but they’ll have to do until Motta is fully recovered.

*Good, untroubled game for Abbiati despite one minor slip.

Why does Aguirre insist on replacing Simão with Reyes all of the time? Simão was playing well, for the most part. There was no need to take him out at all. Maxi, on the other hand, was practically non-existent for most of the game. It would’ve have been much better to remove ineffective Maxi & replace him with Luis García. Luis is deserving of much more playing time than Reyes, as far as I’m concerned.

*Cléber could have replaced Raúl instead, I thought.

*Fernando at SENTIMIENTO ATLETICO thinks that Miguel should have been included in the squad list & had a few minutes of playing time instead of Reyes. This is another good substitution option that Aguirre didn’t consider.

*The decision to sub out Kun was OK. Like I said in the previous entry, the TV commentator suggested that Kun seemed annoyed at the substitution. Not sure about that.

Anyway, there wasn’t much to the game. Depor were just awful and didn’t look like they would ever get anything out of this clash.

So, we’re back into a Champions spot, I’m happy…and that’s what matters.

Next up: at home to Valencia!

Have you guys seen them play lately? Just awful. They drew against Levante (0-0) today…the Valencia crisis continues. Now’s the time to add further salt to their wounds.

Posted in Antonio Lopez, Atletico Madrid, Christian Abbiati, Diego Forlan, Jose Antonio Reyes, Jurado, Luis Garcia, Luis Perea, Maxi Rodriguez, Raul Garcia, Sergio Aguero, Simao Sabrosa | 10 Comments »

Jornada 17: Atlético de Madrid 1 Espanyol 2

Posted by atleti on December 23, 2007

Los Colchoneros drop points at home after having two players sent off.

Another strange night at el Vicente Calderón. I don’t know how to break it down, so I’ll just write up an overview with some thoughts. Firstly, Abbiati had a very good game & kept us alive for as long as he could. Forlán‘s presence in the front-line was immense- visible and industrious.

In the first 10 minutes, I felt that Espanyol looked the better of the two sides, more focused with clear attacks.

Unfortunately, the shit hit the fan in the 29′ when Agüero was sent off. Yes, he was being hounded by Torrejón, but that is no excuse for his conduct. It was a brash, inexcusable reaction by Kun– a reaction that cost us the game, unfortunately. Having said that, after his expulsion, I felt the team played with a bit more urgency. Spectacular free-kick by Simao in the 37′ eased some apprehension, but not much as Espanyol continued to press forward for an equaliser.

Miraculously, the ref failed to see the blatant hand-ball of Raúl in the penalty area. Poor refereeing, but one that allowed us to finish the 1st half with a goal advantange.

Espanyol came back from half-time on fire, taking advantage of their one-man advantage; Tamudo scored a 52′ equaliser without much trouble. Honestly, no one was marking him. Our defenders fell asleep at the wheel.

The shit hit the fan again, literally 3 minutes after the equaliser, when Pernía was harshly given a second yellow for a foul on Tamudo.

Aguirre began to ring in the changes:

58′ Maxi out (didn’t play particularly well), Antonio López in. Basically, a substitution to replace Pernía.

Forlán had two fantastic opportunities to restore our lead: one with the help of Antonio López (Kameni halted this one) and another a few minutes after that.

Aguirre made another substitution in the 74′: Simao out, Jurado in. Strange substitution, I thought. Any thoughts on it?

At this point, I was hoping we’d escape with a point. Wishful thinking.

In the 85′, Espanyol’s Luis García scored a goal thanks to a bit of brilliance by de la Peña; simply impossible for Abbiati.

Our Luis García came on for Raúl. By then, the game was over. Espanyol maintained the bulk of position until full-time.

I can only blame the ref for so much: With the exception of a few, we played terribly, with 11, 10 and 9.

Our midfield struggled against that of Espanyol’s; Raúl needs a stronger central midfielder partner. Hopefully, Motta will return from holiday break fit because, at this point, who the hell knows if we’re going to bring in reinforcements in January.

Aguirre on the game:
“It was a strange game in which we played for a long time with ten men, and then nine for longer. Eleven against ten is complicated, but at ten we managed to score. Nine, though, was too much advantage for them and it was only a matter of time […] I only have praise for my players.”

Aguirre on the Maniche situation:
“Maniche? We’re on holiday now, and when we get back we’ll see how things go in training and matches […] What happens in the locker room stays there. That’s how I’ve always worked, and I’ll continue to do so.”

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Christian Abbiati, Diego Forlan, Jurado, Maniche, Sergio Aguero, Simao Sabrosa, Thiago Motta | 17 Comments »

Jornada 16: Recreativo 0 Atlético de Madrid 0

Posted by atleti on December 16, 2007

Atleti maintain a Champions spot, but miss a golden opportunity to distance themselves from #4 Villarreal.

TACTICS: Abbiati; Perea, Pablo, Eller, Pernía; Maxi, Raúl García, Cléber, Simão (Reyes 66’); Forlán and Kun Agüero (Luis García 66’)

Simply put, this was the game of two goal-keepers. Both Italians, Sorrentino & Abbiati, gave solid performances.

Recre had a few good opportunities. Atleti had better opportunities & dominated play for significant portions.

Forlán, it must be said, had a good game & was truly unlucky not to have scored a goal for his efforts.

MOVING ON…The substitutions seemed off to me. I was surprised to see Simão come off for Reyes, since the Portuguese winger was playing fairly well. Kun, in my opinion, should have stayed on…how else are we supposed to find a winning goal if we take out one of our strikers? Thirdly, Pernía & Cléber didn’t look particularly inspiring. Pernía was rather sloppy while Cléber simply has no presence in the midfield. Why not take out Cléber for Miguel?

Anyway, the result is another set-back. It’s discouraging to drop points against the likes of Recre, Murcia, Almeria…

I don’t know what to else to say…I’m disappointed.

Upwards & onwards, always.

Next up: home to Panathinaikos (UEFA) on the 20th & home to Espanyol (LIGA) on the 23rd.

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Christian Abbiati, Diego Forlan, Sergio Aguero, Simao Sabrosa | 11 Comments »

UEFA: FC Copenhagen v Atlético de Madrid

Posted by atleti on December 3, 2007

Reminder: The game is on 5-December at 20.45pm.

A victory in this game would seal our place in the last 32.

STARTING 11: Abbiati; Antonio López; Pablo; Eller, Pernia; Simão; Motta; Cleber; Luis; Agüero; Forlan.

SUBS: Falcón; Raúl García; Maxi; Reyes; Maniche; Mista; Perea

Leo Franco will be out for 3 weeks after pulling his right calf muscle yesterday. I don’t expect him to play until Liga returns in 2-January. Hopefully, Abbiati won’t get injured.

Group B————-Pld————Pts
Panathinaikos——– 2————- 6
Atlético————– 2————–4
Lokomotiv Moskva—3————–2

Moving On…Copenhagen’s recent 5 results:
Midtjylland 2-2 Copenhagen (Superliga)
Nordsjaelland 1-1 Copenhagen (Superliga)
Copenhagen 1-1 OB (Superliga)
Locomotiv Moscow 0-1 Copenhagen (UEFA)
Copenhagen 1-1 Brondy (Superliga)

Info provided by the UEFA site:
“København have played four games against sides from Spain in UEFA club competition, drawing two and losing the other two. They are thus looking for a first win against a Primera División side as Atlético come calling.”

That’s it for now– I have to write a paper before the end of the day. Bleah!

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Christian Abbiati, Leo Franco, UEFA | 18 Comments »

UEFA: Locomotiv Moscow 3 Atlético de Madrid 3

Posted by atleti on October 25, 2007

Kun, Kun, Kun!

Brief wrap-up of the game since it was been discussed quite a bit in the previous entry (check comments). 

TACTICS: Christian Abbiati; Antonio López; Pablo Ibáñez; Eller; Pernía; Cléber (65′ Maxi); Raúl García; Jurado (75′ Maniche); Simão (69′ Luis García ); Forlán; Agüero

16′ Agüero (assist by Jurado)
27′ Bilyaletdinov
47′ Forlan
61′ Odemwingie
64′ Odemwingie
85′ Agüero


It’s disappointing that our defence was atrocious and cost us the win, but the important thing is that we left Russia (never an easy place to play) with something– a crucial point. 

 Positive news: Our two strikers– Kun and Forlán— scored the goals, something we desperately lacked last season.

Other positives? Jurado had a very good 1st half, which included a shot at goal that hit the woodwork. In the 2nd half, he disappeared for moments at a time, so it was a good decision to sub him out and put Maniche in his place. Also: another solid display by Raul, truly one of my favourite players this season- always focused & composed.

I thought the substitutions (Maxi, Luis García and Maniche) were spot-on; note that Aguirre did not remove players that were doing well.  They reinforced our attack– to make sure we didn’t leave empty-handed. Our defending was atrocious, but since we had no defensive options on the bench (Seitaridis, Perea, Ze Castro, & Motta out injured and Valera unavailable), Aguirre had no choice but to leave the back four for the entire 90.

As mentioned for the umpteenth time, horrific defending; soft goals conceded. I think I speak for all supporters when I say we need to desperately revamp the defence in January. Why on earth do we have Brasilian Eller occupying a crucial foreign player spot when he’s absolute rubbish? We need to offload him in January! He lacks pace & concentration. I saw most of the 1st half and was extremely disappointed with Pablo, Antonio, & Pernia (to a lesser extent, which says A LOT, as Armon points out in the entry below). Judging by descriptive accounts of the game on other blogs, it didn’t get better in the 2nd half.

I hate to end on a negative note, so I will say once again, all things considered, it’s not a bad result. Thank goodness that we have a great attack and equalised.  KUN KUN KUN!


Posted in Antonio Lopez, Atletico Madrid, Christian Abbiati, Cleber Santana, Diego Forlan, Fabiano Eller, Javier Aguirre, Jurado, Luis Garcia, Maxi Rodriguez, Pablo Ibanez, Raul Garcia, Sergio Aguero, Simao Sabrosa, UEFA | 9 Comments »

Jornada 7: Post-Game Interviews

Posted by atleti on October 7, 2007

Some excerpts from Aguirre’s:

[Barcelona] deserved to win. We controlled the ball, we started very well, but it was not meant to be.

On Abbiati’s blunders:
Those are accidents of the game. We’re all responsible. I’m the first. It wasn’t the determining factor, there were more factors that led to the defeat. His error did halt the ‘euphoria’, but we never looked to score a goal (equaliser) and create opportunities.

We created chances today without scoring, but we fell into that sin of going for the match from behind. We gave up two goals really early, and from 0-0 in the 14th minute to 2-0 in the 18th isn’t easy to take, and even less against Barça. They were superior. We tried to attack and we had good chances, but there’s nothing else to say, we have to turn the page and recompose ourselves.

On the international break.
It comes at a good time. The players need to cool down a bit and will go to their respective countries. Those that remain here [will take it easy.]

Abbiati embarassed Atleti, the supporters, and himself after those awful mistakes. I’m still astonished by it all, to be honest. Before that game, I trusted his goalkeeping abilities- he always came off as confident and solid (just read previous entries!). The commentator on GolTV went a so far as to say that even Milan will be disappointed and equally surprised at his 1st half display- since he is on loan from them.

In any case the Italian has apologised to his teammates:
I want to recognise my errors.  At Half-time, I asked for forgiveness from my teammates. I have no problem in [recognising] my mistakes. Until the 15th minute, the team had controlled the game.

I will re-watch the game to see what happened in that play. As far as the defeat…there’s plenty of time left in the season and we can still have a good campaign.

Luis Garcia reiterated the same thoughts as Aguirre and Abbiati: that we played well in the opening minutes, that one cannot allow Barcelona to play their game; that it not easy to play in Camp Nou; and that we should continue to on the route that we were on before the loss.


[In case you missed it, read post-match discussion in the below entry.]

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Christian Abbiati, Javier Aguirre, Luis Garcia | Leave a Comment »

Jornada 7: Barcelona 3 Atlético Madrid 0

Posted by atleti on October 7, 2007

The photo says it all really.

After a truly promising start, we went down a goal after a sloppy clearance by Abbiati, which allowed Deco to tap in  #1. Shambolic goalkeeping at it’s best. After that point, we lost focus and Barcelona played their game. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this was always going to be a tough game for us. It’s not so much the loss, but the manner in which we lost that’s the difficult pill to swallow.

It’s difficult to come away with any positives from this performance beyond the first 20 minutes. Kun missed a golden opportunity to put us ahead before the 1st goal. As one article puts it, “El ‘Kun’ no apareció. Messi sí.” Maniche was ineffective in central midfield.  Few bright moments for Simao and Reyes. Defence, especially Abbiati, cost us the game.  We lost our rhythm and didn’t look like we could get back into it.

Aguirre’s tactics: Abbiati; Seitaridis; Pablo; Zé Castro (45′ Eller); Pernía; Maniche; Raúl García; Simao; Reyes (54′ Maxi); Agüero (62′ Luis Garcia); Forlán

Aguirre gives Luis Garcia such little playing time in Liga. Besides that, why did he replace Luis with Kun? If Kun is fit, there’s no reason to substitute him out, especially when we are down by 2 goals. Granted, he wasn’t having a good game, but I always feel it’s important to maintain two strikers.

Not much else to say.

Disappointing result, but not the end of the world.

Next up: home to Real Zaragoza.


Posted in Atletico Madrid, Christian Abbiati, Javier Aguirre, Luis Garcia | 17 Comments »

Jornada 7: Barcelona v Atlético Madrid

Posted by atleti on October 5, 2007

I’m not one to write detailed previews, but I like to make exceptions for certain fixtures, such as the Madrid derbi and games against Barcelona (a derbi in its own way). Since our return to top flight football, we have been a sort of bogey team for Barcelona, frustrating them at home and even winning at Camp Nou twice. The difference this season than previous ones is that we no longer have Torres. El Niño had an impressive goal-scoring record against Barcelona– some truly memorable goals, it must be said.

Do we have what it takes to frustrate them with our new squad? I think so. Now, don’t get me wrong, despite our current winning streak and our good record at Camp Nou, this is still a very complicated fixture: Barcelona are a powerhouse and their record speaks for itself. That said, I respect Barcelona, but I do not fear them.

Their injury list, at the moment, is long and composed of key players: Eto’o, Zambrotta, Yaya Toure, Marquez, Edmilson, et al. Despite the rearranging  Rijkaard will have to do (eg Puyol & Milito paired up in the back), I think this is an opportunity for los rojiblancos to exploit these defensive absenses. We’ve been looking incredibly threatening attack-wise, creating opportunities & scoring a variety of impressive goals, from long-range gooolazos to short-distance shots & headers.

Our main concern should be our defensive performance. Although we have an impeccable record of clean sheets entering this Jornada, defence is always an area that I’ve felt we need to beef up. For this game especially, it’s incredibly important that the back-line remain focused & aware of their surroundings. Messi, Henry, and Ronaldinho will always pose a threat.

It’s unclear who Aguirre will choose at this point. Normally, he would use Pablo-Perea. With Perea out, Aguirre has two options: Ze Castro and Eller, both of whom have their weaknesses and strengths. In terms of left-backs, I expect Aguirre to choose Pernia over Antonio Lopez. As far as right-back position is occurred, Seitaridis is fit, so I don’t doubt he’ll be chosen. Although Leo Franco is deemed fit for the game, I hope that Aguirre chooses Abbiati.

Luis Garcia
and Simao are prepared to face their ex-club and what a fantastic time to be facing them! Luis Garcia is in fantastic form and Simao, with each performance, continues to show signs of incredible technical ability & creativity. He still hasn’t shown us all that he has to offer– as I mentioned before, he still needs to find his ‘niche’. This is the sort of fixture I expect both players to go above & beyond, to prove how far they’ve come since their days at Camp Nou.

Messi v Aguero (or, Messi < Aguero?)
Good friends. Both tied for Pichichi at the moment. It adds another interesting angle to this fixture. KUN KUN KUN!

I expect him to remain benched for this game. From what I’ve seen, he still hasn’t given Aguirre any reason to include him in the starting 11. I hope that his appearances as sub improve so that he can regain his top spot. That position will be handed to Reyes.

Maniche was rested in mid-week and will return to play alongside the always impressive Raul Garcia— a proven key player in midfield who isn’t afraid of taking a shot at goal from long distance.

Abbiati; Seitaridis; Pablo; Zé Castro; Pernía; Maniche; Raúl García; Simao; Reyes; Agüero; Forlán

SUBS: Falcón; Eller Antonio López; Cléber; Luis García; Maxi; Jurado

“It would be a lie if I said we [don’t enter this game in good form], but they are also strong. Barcelona have demonstrated, in the Champions League as well as Liga, that it’s very difficult to win at Camp Nou. Hopefully it’ll be a good game; one that will give the people something to celebrate…

In closing, here are some excerpts from Luis’ recent interview.

On the possibility of a rojiblanco victory:
“I think it’s going to be an interesting game[…] I’m confident that my club will win. Barcelona are a complicated club and we should not make any mistakes and remain concentrated in not conceding any goal.

On Barcelona:
“They have a great squad, with plenty of talent and any player can complicate [the game for us.] [We must] be wary of all the players. Ronaldinho is a great player…

In terms of us, he said that we are working well as a team and that we are creating many goal-scoring opportunities. Evidence: In our last 5 games, we have scored 17 goals, thanks to Kun, Forlan, Raul Garcia, et al.



Posted in Antonio Lopez, Atletico Madrid, Christian Abbiati, Fernando Torres, Javier Aguirre, Leo Franco, Luis Garcia, Maniche, Mariano Pernia, Maxi Rodriguez, Pablo Ibanez, Raul Garcia, Sergio Aguero, Simao Sabrosa, Ze Castro | 22 Comments »