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 ‘Diego Costa’ Category

John Heitinga Set to Sign for Atlético

Posted by atleti on March 25, 2008

A couple blog commentators have already mentioned this in a below entry- thanks, Derek and Mohammed!

08/09 project is officially underway: John Heitinga is set to wear Atlético kit next season. A 24 year old Dutch international & Ajax youth product. Without a doubt a step in the right direction– Heitinga can play as both centre-back & right-back, two areas that we have shown signs of weakness.

We’re rumoured to be shelling out 8 to 10 million euros for the Dutchman, due to his clause with Ajax.

Heitinga on the move (De Telegraaf):
“I am trembling with joy…This is a beautiful new phase in my career.”

Meanwhile, on a completely different note, Diego Costa, Brasilian striker who is currently on loan to Celta Vigo, has said that even though he is property of Atleti, he would be happy to stay with Celta.


Posted in Atletico Madrid, Diego Costa, John Heitinga, transfers | 11 Comments »

Pitarch’s Press Talk

Posted by atleti on February 1, 2008


Our rubbish sporting director spoke to the press…Here are a few statements he made:

On Aguirre’s Future:
“The continuity of Javier is guaranteed until his contract with the team ends and it will probably be extended by a year…If he qualifies the team for Europe, he will have a year added to the contract.”

In terms of their working relationship:
“Our relationship is good both professionally and personally. Javier Aguirre is the best coach for Atlético.”

He claims the media has created an “artificial crisis”…

On the winter transfer window:

He also claims that Aguirre is not disappointed with the players he has signed for the team. This, I call bullshit.

“Tiago could today have been player of Atlético Madrid, but it was only possible if we equalled the money teams like Tottenham were offering for a permanent transfer. We did not want that, we wanted a loan arrangement.”

This I believe– Spurs wanted to buy Tiago from Juve, which appealed to them more than our loan proposal.

On Summer signings:
He said the club are interested in Johnny Heitinga and Tomáš Ujfaluši, although he did not confirm that ‘talks’ have officially begun.

“They are two players that Aguirre knows… we like them but that does not mean that we have contracts with them or that talks will be forthcoming.”

I like Heitinga. 24 year old Ajax centre-back & right-back and Dutch international. From what I’ve seen, he’s a very solid player.

Tomáš Ujfaluši. I don’t know much about him, except that he has been linked with many clubs. 29 year old Fiorentina & Czech defender (centre-back & right-back).

In terms of Maniche:
He assured the press that there is no problem with Aguirre on Maniche’s departure (bullshit?). With the return of Motta & Miguel from long-term injuries, he said the club decided there was no need to sign a new player.

On Eller, Diego Costa & Cleber:
“You can criticise the signing of Eller, Diego Costa, or Cleber, but I feel totally happy about them…”

When asked about the progression of the team:
“I will not say anything, that’s the job of the manager…”

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Diego Costa, Fabiano Eller, Maniche, Miguel de las Cuevas, Thiago Motta | 6 Comments »

Backroom Drama…?

Posted by atleti on February 1, 2008

Just read an article on AS. about the ever-growing rift between Pitarch & Aguirre. Here are the details for English-speaking supporters: 

According to ONDA MADRID (31-January),  sporting director Pitarch wanted the club to sack Aguirre, following our elimination in the Copa. What’s more, Pitarch believes the Mexican’s mishandling of the Maniche situation is also grounds for sacking him.

In terms of Aguirre, he is apparently angered by the fact that Pitarch failed to do his job as sporting director by not signing Tiago (or another player of a similar quality). What’s more (and yes there’s more), Aguirre is also peeved that Pitarch failed to sign a centre-back for this season (both in the summer & January). The Mexican apparently made it quite known that the team was in desperate need of a new defender.

This wouldn’t be the first time Pitarch has had rift with a manager. Remember his time at Valencia? Rafael Benitez made it quite known to the press that he hated the players Pitarch signed: “I’ve asked for a table and they’ve given me a lamp.” 

One has to wonder, given his reputation for signing substandard players, why on earth would the club sign Pitarch as sporting director? It is, in fact, HIS fault that we even have Eller and Cleber. By the way, this is also the same man who said the club should sell Kun if the right price came along.

Some proof of Aguirre’s dissatisfaction?
*Diego Costa is out on loan.

*Cleber did not play in Liga until the Maniche situation. With Motta out injured, he obviously had obviously no choice but to select Cleber more regularly.

*Eller has been used out of necessity as we have limited options in the back-line as well.

On the flip side to all of this, Aguirre has hardly proven that he is a top quality manager (both at Atleti and elsewhere). He’s an average tactician, at best.

In all honesty, either way I look at it, we’re in a lose-lose situation with these two men. It’s certainly not a good thing that all of this is happening in the middle of the season either: all of these issues should have been resolved in the summer (eg rebuilding the defence when we had an opportunity, etc).

In terms of Pitarch’s proposal to sack Aguirre, the higher-ups are apparently opposed to the idea as they believe the team still have a lot to play for (#4 spot & UEFA Cup). At least that’s what’s being said in the press at the moment.

Later on today (Friday), Pitarch will speak to the press to explain (justify?) the lack of transfer involvement and such.  Perhaps we’ll receive some confirmation (or not) on the AS and Onda Madrid articles.

In the meantime, you have to wonder, how is all of this nonsense affecting the players?

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Cleber Santana, Diego Costa, Fabiano Eller, Javier Aguirre, transfers | 10 Comments »

Transfer News

Posted by atleti on August 23, 2007

Confirmed: Like Mario Suarez,  Diego Costa will play on loan for 2nd division Celta Vigo for 07/08 season.

Confirmed: Portuguese midfielder and Grade A Jerk Costinha is currently working on a move to Atalanta in Italy for 07/08 season, thank goodness…good riddance to bad rubbish.

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Diego Costa, transfers | 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 »

Atletico Madrid: Transfer Rumours & Updates

Posted by atleti on August 9, 2007

With giant striker Nikola Zigic on his way to Valencia, Racing Santander are on the lookout for a new striker. Who do they have in mind? Atleti’s Mista. With his position as 3rd choice striker in doubt– not to mention his poor form at the moment– Mista should consider a move out of the club. He has told the press that he would like to stay and fight for his place in the squad, but with the likes of Forlán, Aguero, and young Braulio, it seems unrealistic.

If an agreement between the two clubs cannot be reached, sources report that Racing might offer 24 year old midfielder Víctor Javier Añino Bermúdez (more commonly known as “Vitolo”).

Meanwhile, AS reports that Brasilian striker Diego Costa is on his way out of the club for the season with a move to the Russian League likely. I’ve mentioned this before here— Diego Costa, crucially,  doesn’t have a Euro-Passport.

In the same article, Costinha is also mentioned to be leaving the club. Again, no shocker there. Beyond that, no futher information is provided.

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Diego Costa, Rumours, transfers | 3 Comments »

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 »

Pre-Season Friendly: Celta Vigo v Atletico Madrid & Other Stuff

Posted by atleti on August 8, 2007

Manager Aguirre is expected to field a 4-2-3-1 formed- squad with a Simao-Maxi-Reyes line.

AS is calling it the ‘tridente mágico’ (the magical trident)- and who can blame them? If this trio proves deadly without Forlan and Aguero, imagine how potent our attack will be when they’re back from holiday? I’m salivating right now. It’s an incredibly attack-minded midfield to support a loan striker.

Who will join the tridente in this Celta Vigo friendly?
Leo Franco, Seitaridis, Pablo, Antonio López, Jurado, Diego Costa, Abbiati, Vara, Pernía, Maniche, Mista, Costinha, Luccin, Eller, Braulio, Regalón and Raúl García.

New faces in this friendly squad: Brasilian striker Diego Costa and Atleti B defender Regalón.

I don’t think there’ll be a live feed for this friendly, unfortunately, but I’ll check for one.

Understandably, Luis Garcia was left behind. He’s a key player- why aggravate a minor injury he picked up against Lazio last Saturday? Let him rest and fully recuperate- we need him for the Madrid derby.
Meanwhile, slowly fallen-out-of-favour striker Mista has been attracting the attention of a few clubs, Real Murcia (his boyhood club) and Levante. At the moment, news sources claim that he’s not keen on the idea of relocating to another club– he does have a contract until 2010 with Atleti. However, he might reconsider that stance: at this point, I don’t see him receiving much playing time. Let’s see how this pans out.

In other news, Maxi Rodriguez has been called up to the Argentina NT for a friendly to be played in Oslo 22-August.

Posted in Antonio Lopez, Atletico Madrid, Braulio, Christian Abbiati, Diego Costa, Diego Forlan, Fabiano Eller, Giorgios Seitaridis, Javier Aguirre, Jose Antonio Reyes, Leo Franco, Luis Garcia, Mariano Pernia, Maxi Rodriguez, Pablo Ibanez, Raul Garcia, Sergio Aguero, Simao Sabrosa | Leave a Comment »