Atléticos around the world: Mario debuts, Falcao rests
Atlético’s eight first team internationals will be returning from midweek national team duties for the club’s upcoming clash in Vallecas against Rayo on Sunday.
The major headline in Rojiblanco land this FIFA round was that midfielder and Atleti academy product Mario Suárez made his debut with the Spanish national team’s senior side, after having played for the youth version of La Selección as a youngster on several occasions.
Mario took part in the final 20 minutes of La Roja‘s 3-1 win over Uruguay in Qatar.
There, he faced off against Atlético teammates Diego Godín and Cristian ‘Cebolla’ Rodríguez.
Centre-back Godín had a day to forget as he was partially to blame for Spain’s first two goals, while Cebolla bagged a goal against the reigning European and World champions.
Diego played the full 90 minutes while Rodríguez was taken off after 69.
Meanwhile, Arda took part in all 90 minutes of Turkey’s 2-0 loss to the Czech Republic.
Brazil internationals Miranda and Filipe Luís also suffered defeat, losing 2-1 to England at Wembley.
Filipe was brought on with 20 minutes to spare, while Miranda got to play the final 10 minutes.
Thibaut Courtois was on the bench for Belgium’s 2-1 triumph over Slovakia, with Torino goalkeeper Jean-François Gillet getting the nod in his stead.
There was some good news for the Atleti faithful concerned about Falcao making the over 14,000 km round-trip trek from Madrid-to-Miami-and-back after just recently returning from injury.
While ‘El Tigre’ was expected to appear in the fold for Colombia’s friendly versus Guatemala at Sun Life Stadium, he did not play a single minute of the Cafeteros‘ 4-1 thrashing of the Central American outfit.
He was spotted by our cameras warming up on the sidelines during the game, and was seen celebrating national side teammate and Deportivo midfielder Abel Aguilar’s goal, Colombia’s third of the game.
The roughly 15,000 fans in attendance at the home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins — the vast majority of which were wearing the bright yellow Colombia shirt — frequently chanted Falcao’s name hoping to get a glimpse of their idol in action.
In the end, it seems the Atleti striker was only used as bait to sell tickets. That, or perhaps Rojiblanco boss Diego Simeone gave countryman and Colombia head coach José Pekerman a call, requesting (or ordering) Pekerman not to utilise our star.
We were also able to catch up with our good old friend Luis Amaranto Perea, who, after captaining his national team to a 4-1 victory, told us that he “will always be a Colchonero”.