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 ‘Ze Castro’ Category

Jornada 34: Getafe v Atlético de Madrid

Posted by atleti on April 26, 2008

The Other Madrid Derbi.

#4 Atleti 54

#13 Getafe 41

STARTING 11: Leo Franco; Antonio López, Pablo, Perea, Pernía; Camacho, Raúl García, Maxi, Luis García; Forlán and Agüero.

SUBS: Abbiati, Zé Castro, Seitaridis, Cléber, Jurado, Miguel, Mista.

This lineup frightens me a little bit, I won’t lie. Will they do enough to get the job done? I would’ve preferred to see Miguel in the starting 11 than Luis, but that’s just me.

Anyway, Zé Castro, Mista, & Jurado return to the bench.

And Motta, Simao, & Reyes are unselected due to injury.

Getafe’s squad list: Pato, Ustari, Contra, Cata Díaz, Belenguer, Licht, David Cortés, Tena, Mario Cotelo, Gavilán, De la Red, Sousa, Casquero, Pablo Hernández, Granero, Manu, Albín & Kepa.

Getafe’s Recent five results:
3-1 away loss against Levante.
0-0 home draw against Zaragoza.
0-0 away draw against Barcelona.
0-2 home loss against Osasuna.
1-0 away loss against Athletic.

Dreadful run of form at the moment, which surprises me a bit because they were doing so well until they were dumped out of the UEFA Cup and Copa del Rey.

06/07 season: 1-4 win for us.
05/06 season: 0-3 win for us.
04/05 season: 1-1 draw.
03/04 season: Getafe were in the 2nd division.
02/03 season: Getafe were in the 2nd division.

Not a bad record at their stadium, but this is a tricky fixture considering how desperate they are to pick up 3 points. That said, we seriously cannot afford to lose or draw– only a few points separate us from Racing and Sevilla. A loss would drop us to #5.

Let’s just win! I don’t care how we do it…let’s just leave there with 3 points.

Meanwhile, Maxi is still with a move out of the club (Juventus & Liverpool monitoring his situation), but President Cerezo has said he is staying put…

Lucho Gonzalez is rumoured to be one of our summer targets as is Hilario Navarro, goalkeeper of Racing Club…

Anything missing? Share!

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Jose Antonio Reyes, Jurado, Leo Franco, Luis Garcia, Maxi Rodriguez, Miguel de las Cuevas, Pablo Ibanez, Rumours, Simao Sabrosa, Thiago Motta, Ze Castro | 20 Comments »

Jornada 13: Atlético de Madrid v Real Valladolid

Posted by atleti on November 24, 2007

Finally! Club action is back on schedule!

{UPDATE} STARTING 11: Leo Franco, Valera, Pablo, Zé Castro, Pernía, Raúl García, Maniche, Reyes, Simao, Maxi; Kun Agüero.

SUBS: Falcón; Antonio López; Cléber; Forlán; Luis García; Eller; Jurado; Perea

A Few Notes
*As expected, Forlán will be on the bench & won’t play unless absolutely necessary. I think this is a good idea, in terms of preventing another injury setback.

*Valera’s first game in the starting 11- best of luck to him.

*Perea, Jurado, & Raul all appeared fit for the game.

*Where Motta you ask? Aguirre says he wants him fresh for our UEFA game against Aberdeen– he plans on using him in the starting 11

Here are a couple excerpts from Forlán‘s recent press talk:

“Sunday’s match is going to be difficult and since we’re playing at home we need to win the three points. In the end, it’s always important to be up there to have possibilities during the final sprint and to have something to play for.”

“The team is fine physically. The three points against Valladolid are very important, which means that we have to leave the last game against Almeria behind us. All of the matches are difficult, which is the good thing about the Spanish League, where you don’t know what’s going to happen.”

I agree 100%: this is a game we MUST win. Notice how I say that a lot? Well, if we expect to secure a Champions League spot this season, THESE are the games we need to win.

MOVING ON…both Maxi and Kun arrived from South America injury-free…always a good thing! Raúl García will be back into action, too: if you recall, he served a suspension in Round 12 and has used much of his time to recover from a fractured nose injury.

Personally, I’d like to see Luis Garcia in the starting 11– he did not serve international duty and has been injury-free.

My only concern is the defence– but I think we will keep it tight in the back. Perea & Seitaridis are out injured, so we might see Valera & Ze Castro in their place.

I’ve seen Valladolid play in previous rounds– they’re a good footballing side, but have had a topsy-turvy start to the season. Before the international break, they were on a good run & I don’t doubt that they will give us a ‘run for our money’. At the end of the day, however, we are strong at home & have a more potent attack.

Bottom-line: Let’s beat Valladolid!

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Diego Forlan, Juan Valera, Luis Garcia, Maxi Rodriguez, Raul Garcia, Sergio Aguero, Simao Sabrosa, Ze Castro | 17 Comments »

More Venting on the Defence

Posted by atleti on November 5, 2007

The day after Jornada 11 and I’m still a bit shell-shocked over the loss. In retrospect, the same result could have occurred to us against Sevilla. We were fortunate then to have the result go our way, considering we defended in the same suicidal manner.

Aguirre, Jurado, Pablo have all come out to express their opinions of the game and all of them basically echo the same thing: that we need to defend better. When asked about the defensive problems, Aguirre said, “We need to work on them. We go forward, which leaves us very open.” And, of course, he mentioned we lacked ‘balance’ and ‘organisation’ as we are now a very attack-minded team this season.

Meanwhile, midfielder Jurado said  that ‘defending is the job of everyone’, from the goalkeeper to the main striker. I don’t agree with this entirely. I believe the job, first and foremost, falls on the defenders (obviously!). When the defenders are confident and protecting the team in the back, our attacking players can move forward without worrying about rushing back to defend. As Aguirre mentioned, we need to achieve a balance.

At the same time, we simply do not have the quality in the back-line, so  changes ( at least two) MUST be made this January.

Let’s be honest: all of our defenders have had more bad days than good days.

Leo Franco (shaky, adds to our defensive worries; doesn’t instill any sense of confidence)
Abbiati (not good enough to play in Liga week in & week out)
Falcon (inexperienced keeper from the B team)

Ze Castro

All unreliable; I’d get rid of all of them. Realistically, that won’t (& can’t) happen. I still think we should offload at least two of them in January. Which you ask? Does it honestly matter? They’re all horrendous.


I can’t put any fault on Valera– he hasn’t played at all (well, a little bit) since returning from injury. He still deserves an opportunity to prove his worth. Seitaridis– sometimes he’s fairly solid, other times I cringe when he’s in a one-on-one situation.

Antonio Lopez

Dreadful. No further comments.

Shout-out: Armon (blog commentator) hit it on the head: our defence is sabotaging us. If we don’t secure a Champions League spot, we are at risk of losing our best players in the summer (Kun, in particular).

At the end of the day, we still have plenty of games up for grabs. It’s just frustrating because we SHOULD have won this game. Hell, I would’ve have been OK with a point. I would have been disappointed, but something is better than nothing.

OK, enough venting from me.

Monday Training Notes
Everyone except Raul (who fractured a bone in his nose) participated in today’s ‘relaxed’ training session. Of note, two of our Atleti B players participated with the top team: strikers Batres & Senel. Both Spaniards have been in good form with the B squad.

Motta & Mista worked with the physical therapist in the gym. Please, please, please, MOTTA come back from injury already! WE NEED YOU!

Posted in Antonio Lopez, Atletico Madrid, Giorgios Seitaridis, Javier Aguirre, Juan Valera, Jurado, Leo Franco, Luis Perea, Mariano Pernia, Pablo Ibanez, Raul Garcia, Thiago Motta, Ze Castro | 14 Comments »

Jornada 10: Atlético de Madrid 4 Sevilla 3

Posted by atleti on October 31, 2007

Atlético climb to 4th in the league table after scoring four brilliant goals!

Leo Franco; Seitaridis, Perea, Zé Castro, Pernía; Raúl García, Maniche, Maxi (Jurado, 88’), Luis García (Simão, 58’); Kun Agüero; Forlán (Reyes, 23’)

FORLAN was subbed out in the 23′ with an injury. More on that if it is severe.

01′ Maniche (assist by Maxi)
14′ Fabiano (result of a free kick)
16′ Agüero (assist by Forlán)
44’Zé Castro (disastrous og)
69′ Maxi Rodríguez (assist by Agüero)
90′ Jurado (assist by Simão)
92’Fabiano (absolute loss of concentration)

ATLETI: 9 shots, 8 on goal.
SEVILLA: 11 shots, 3 on goal.


Words cannot describe how good I feel at this moment. Not only does the win put us in a Champions League spot (with two points separating us from Valencia), but we are only 5 points away from the top.

Of course, it wasn’t complete bliss: it was another tale of two Atléticos. On one hand, our attack fills me such hope, pride, & happiness. Indeed, we are in incredible goal-scoring form. We have speed, technical ability, and, more importantly, OPTIONS on the bench to reinforce our offence (although we do lack a fit 3rd striker). KUN & Forlán are undoubtedly the best strike force in Liga at the moment. Fantastic game for Maxi, in particular, too.

On the other hand, our defence is still incredibly unreliable, costing us goals. Zé Castro had a disastrous performance, for the most part: not only did he score an own goal, but he also lost possession in dangerous areas. He is not the only one at fault either– we conceded unnecessary free kicks, one of which led to Sevilla’s first goal. Pernía, Seitaridis, Leo Franco, and Perea— all incredibly shaky– you never know when they’re going to have a [relatively] good day or an absolute shocker. There is no sense of security. What’s the good of having the best attack in Liga when we’re leaking goals with suicidal defending?

This is the paradox of Atleti.

At the end of the day, I’m absolutely thrilled that we secured another crucial win.

Next up: home to VILLARREAL.


Posted in Atletico Madrid, Diego Forlan, Jurado, Leo Franco, Luis Garcia, Luis Perea, Maniche, Mariano Pernia, Maxi Rodriguez, Sergio Aguero, Simao Sabrosa, Ze Castro | 10 Comments »

Jornada 9: Levante v Atlético de Madrid

Posted by atleti on October 26, 2007

We face a very woeful Levante with 1 measily point– a game we should absolutely win (no ifs, ands, or buts). Anything less than a win would be a massive disappointment. At the same time, I wouldn’t underestimate them: Levante are desperate (ravenous, even) for 3 points. We can’t let our guard down for this encounter at all.

Brief, Random, Unstructured Notes

Reyes, Zé Castro, Motta (hell froze over?), Miguel, & Valera were all fit to participate in today’s (Friday) training session. [NB: Seitaridis and Mista are still unavailable.]

When I read that Mista was still injured, it made me wonder if Batres would occupy a spot on the bench again, to fill the role of 3rd striker. [I’d support that decision wholeheartedly- I like to see canteranos given an opportunity to play with the top team. That’s how we found Torres, after all.]

With Seitaridis out injured, it might be a good idea to start Valera as left-back (instead of Antonio)– he had a restful time in Madrid while the team traveled to Moscow.

Oddly, there’s no mention of Perea at all in the article. I guess we’ll have to wait until the squad list is released to see if he’ll be available. If Motta is deemed fit enough, I think he should occupy a spot on the bench. It’s time to get him back in action, for goodness sake.

Luis, Maxi, and Reyes (if 100% fit) should be included in the starting 11.

I’ll post up the confirmed 11 once it’s available, of course.

Also: Check out the below entry to see names of possible centre-backs that might interest the higher-ups.

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Giorgios Seitaridis, Javier Aguirre, Jose Antonio Reyes, Juan Valera, Luis Garcia, Mariano Pernia, Maxi Rodriguez, Miguel de las Cuevas, Pablo Ibanez, Raul Garcia, Sergio Aguero, Simao Sabrosa, Thiago Motta, Ze Castro | 2 Comments »

Atlético Monday Training Notes

Posted by atleti on October 22, 2007

Brief entry.

Two Atleti B players trained alongside the top team, top scorer Batres and Álex Quillo. [I think it would be excellent to have Batres as 3rd choice striker over Mista.]

INJURIES: Zé Castro sat this one out because of ‘gastroenteritis’–Motta, Miguel, and Mista continue to recuperate from their respective knocks.

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Miguel de las Cuevas, Thiago Motta, Ze Castro | Leave a Comment »

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 »

UEFA: Kayseri Erciyesspor 0 Atlético Madrid 5 (agg 0-9)

Posted by atleti on October 4, 2007

Atleti win comfortably in Turkey and progress to UEFA’s group stage! It wasn’t the greatest game, entertainment-wise; for anyone who watched it, didn’t it have a pre-season/training session feel to it? In any case, it’s excellent that we won by a large margin and that the squad return to Spain injury-free, for the most part*.

Aguirre’s tactics: Abbiati; Antonio López, Zé Castro, Eller (Pablo 45′), Pernía; Luis García, Cléber Santana, Raúl García (Reyes 60′), Jurado; Agüero (Forlan 45′) and Maxi.

5′ Agüero (assist by Luis)
12′ Jurado (assist by Luis)
43′ Agüero (assist by Pernia)
52′ Maxi (pen)
78′ Forlán (assist by Maxi)

Kun added on to his impressive goal-scoring tally, which is fantastic.

Brief & Random Observations
-great game for Kun, Jurado, and Luis

-Singling out Luis— he is a player with an incredible workrate. Despite the scoreline, he continued to give it his all and press on for more scoring opportunities. He continues to prove that he deserves a shot at a starting 11 spot in Liga. Perhaps against ex-club  Barcelona?

-There were a few nervy moments for the defence, but nothing too significant.

Maxi was  practically no where to be seen in the 1st half. He appeared once- kun delivered a fantastic cross into the box with Maxi only a few feet away from slotting it in and he missed it. ‘An absolute sitter.’ I would still bench him based on this performance; he did not show any signs of improvement in his play. Indeed, the only bright spot was the penalti he scored.

Overall, the victory is another great confidence boost for los rojiblancos ahead of the Sunday clash against Barcelona.

In closing, here are a few excerpts for Aguirre’s post-match interview:
We defended our lead well. We went up two goals very early and that was really good for us; it gave us tranquility. We were intelligent over the course of the match because we respected our opponent.

*On possible injuries:
Kun received a hard tackle and I hope that he can play in the match against Barcelona. Zé Castro also took a few blows and it seems like it could be something serious, although we want to wait a few hours to see how he progresses. When we get back to Madrid we’ll also find out how those who stayed in Madrid are doing and we’ll see if we’ll be able to count on them for Sunday’s match.

Slight injury worries. Hopefully these aren’t serious, especially for Kun because he’s such a key player for us up front.

On Barcelona:
The match against Barcelona comes at a good moment for them and for us. They’re playing very well at home, so I’m sure that we’ll see a good spectacle. I hope we see a nice match and that the best team wins, which we hope to be us.

More on our game against Barcelona tomorrow.

Saludos to all & AUPA ATLETI!


Posted in Atletico Madrid, Javier Aguirre, Jurado, Luis Garcia, Maxi Rodriguez, Sergio Aguero, UEFA, Ze Castro | 1 Comment »

Jornada 6: Atlético Madrid v Osasuna

Posted by atleti on September 28, 2007

First and foremost, this will be Raul Garcia’s first game against his boyhood club. He looks forward to it, calling it ‘special’ and ‘strange’ to go against his ex-teammates. When asked if he’d celebrate if he scored a goal, he said he would be happy, but he certainly wouldn’t celebrate it, out of respect. Completely understandable. To be honest, I think it’s bad form when a player celebrates a goal scored against an ex-club.

Important Things To Consider
With Perea out, Pablo needs a new centre-back partner. Aguirre has two choices: Eller or Ze Castro. Of the two, I’d choose Ze Castro because he is more reliable than Eller, based on recent performances. AS breaks it down differently: Eller might be viewed as a good option by Aguirre because he’s taller than Ze Castro and could probably clear out aerial attacks better. On the other hand, Eller lacks pace and would struggle against the likes of young striker Portillo.

Maxi back to the starting 11?
I don’t doubt for one minute that Maxi wants to regain his starting position. He is after all, captain of the team! On the other hand, he has been poor for us– should an exception be made for this game? Should we continue to use him as a sub until he shows signs of improvement? Maxi is one of my favourite players and nothing would please me more than to see him back in the squad, playing at the level that he did pre-injury.

Will Luis Garcia receive a starting 11 spot this Sunday or soon? It’s unclear, but he’s a constant contributor to the team and has an eye for goal. Let’s see how it goes: Aguirre has said time and time again that he plans on rotating squads in order to keep players fit for all competitions.

Bottom-line: this is an absolute must-win fixture. We travel to Barcelona in round 7, which will be a tough game.

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Fabiano Eller, Luis Garcia, Maxi Rodriguez, Raul Garcia, Ze Castro | 3 Comments »

Atlético Madrid Enter UEFA!

Posted by atleti on August 30, 2007

After SEVEN long years of no UEFA action, we finally qualified today after winning Serbian club FK Vojvodina, 1-2 (1-5 agg)! I didn’t follow this as carefully as I could have because I’m at work, so I can’t offer any firsthand insight on specific performances. The important thing is that we’ve officially qualified.

We went down towards the end of the 1st half due to poor defending (Eller & Ze Castro, a poor duo). In the 2nd half, we came back and scored two very good goals to see off Vojvodina.

Vojvodina were (rightly) awarded a penalty due to a collision by Abbiati and a striker– thankfully, he solidly blocked it. So far, Abbiati has proven to be a much better penalty taker than Leo Franco, no?

54′: gol by Luis Garcia, assist by Antonio Lopez (very good)
74′: gol by Raul Garcia, assist by Jurado (this was a cracker)

I’m glad to see both Garcias on the scoresheet.

Abbiati; Eller (Seitaridis, 61 min); Perea; Antonio López; Zé Castro; Raúl García; Cléber Santana; Luis García; Reyes (Simao, min 53); Mista; Forlán

Aupa Atleti!

Posted in Antonio Lopez, Atletico Madrid, Christian Abbiati, Fabiano Eller, Javier Aguirre, Jose Antonio Reyes, Jurado, Luis Garcia, Raul Garcia, UEFA, Ze Castro | 2 Comments »