The dawn of the new week has brought with it an ever-growing sense of excitement throughout the Colchonero masses, who are abuzz with their hopes and aspirations for the UEFA Super Cup final now only days away.
The fans aren’t the only ones showing their enthusiasm about this immensely important clash. The Rojiblanco players have shared their thoughts and expectations about their upcoming bout, in which they confront Champions League title-holders Inter Milan.
Mario Suárez, who returns to the club this season after having been reacquired from Mallorca, simply couldn’t contain his eagerness for the game to kick-off. “We really want the match to start already,” said the young midfielder.
José Manuel Jurado, who came up big in the Europa League finals earlier this year feels he will once again play an important role. “I believe the small details will decide the winner of the Super Cup. I have a feeling that I will have a great game,” said the Spaniard.
Juan Valera, who started against Liverpool in the memorable away game at Anfield as a replacement of the then injured right-back Ujfafulsi, said “we want to have a great match and bring the title with us to Madrid. The team is wrapping up its preparations in order to arrive in the best possible shape for the game.”
Valera’s team-mate Tiago Mendes, unfortunately, will not be fit for the game, but that did not prevent him from offering his opinion about Atleti’s opponent. The Portuguese international said that “with Mourinho, Inter was a stronger team.”
FIFA Golden Ball contender Diego Forlán, whose thrilling and decisive Europa League goals against Galatasaray, Liverpool and Fulham will forever be etched in the hearts and minds of Atléticos everywhere, said “we want to win the Super Cup, it would give us a huge boost of confidence.”
Cachavacha continued and spoke of how he comes into the Super Cup final during a “great moment” in his career. “I just want to keep achieving things with my club and with my national team. I never concern myself with personal accolades, but it’s always nice to hear people say such wonderful things about me. I hope that continues,” said the 31 year-old.
Of those personal awards, Kun Agüero had some words of advice for his Uruguayan strike partner. “It could be that Sneijder and Forlán will be playing for the Golden Ball and I hope that Diego wins it, but on Friday, in Monaco, he should be relaxed and not worry about scoring one or two goals. Instead, he should focus on playing the way he did last season, first with us and later with Uruguay,” said the Argentine.
Kun also very candidly expressed his apprehensions with regard to Inter’s potent strike force. “I’m concerned, obviously, because Inter is a great team and they are very dangerous in the attack. But Atlético is capable of beating anyone,” he assured.
Newcomers Filipe Luís and Diego Godín, who will be suiting up in red and white for their first official game with Atlético, have confidence in their team-mates.
Filipe said “I believe that the Kun-Forlán attack also provokes fear,” while Godín said that “at this club I have found myself surrounded by high quality players, and in this game we have to come out hard and focused. We have to play fast and attack with everything we have up top.”
Tomás Ujfalusi concurred with his back line companions, and echoed their sentiments about the calibre of our players versus the Milanese side. Ufja said “Inter is a bit scary. They have quality, speed and goal-scorers. It’s a great team, but we have worked hard during the pre-season and we also have our options.”
Young goalkeeper Joel Robles, who in enjoying a fortuitous short stint with the club since being called up last May will be experiencing his third final with Atleti as David de Gea’s backup, said “we’ve got to be calm. It’s not good to obsess over your opponent. We are 11 versus 11 and anything can happen in one game.”
Lifetime Atlético fan and new signing Fran Mérida, who used to daily wear a necklace with a charm of the Atleti emblem and even sleep in his red and white jersey said, “physically, we are doing well. We have worked this pre-season with our eyes set on the encounter with Inter. We have experienced all sorts of results, but we have to remain positive.”
Midfielder Raúl García, who watched Inter’s Italian Super Cup final on television this past Saturday, shared his observations. “Their play didn’t surprise me. We are all aware of their potential. The tests no longer count. We have worked hard and we want the title,” said García.
Lightning quick Colombian defender Luis Amaranto Perea felt that “we shouldn’t fear them. The team is working well. It would undoubtedly be very important for us to start the season with a title.”
Defensive midfielder Paulo Assunçao, who will have one of the most important roles in the game, that of containing the gifted Wesley Sneijder, weighed in on the pre-game chatter. “Right now, Inter is the best team in the world, but we shouldn’t worry about them. We have to focus on our own play and believe in ourselves that we can beat them,” said Paulo.
Finally, manager Quique Sánchez Flores said of the Nerazzurri, “I have faced them five times in the last couple of seasons. I am very familiar with them. I am aware of their potential and their game, but we are Atlético de Madrid, and we can stand up to them.”
Please feel free to share your own thoughts and expectations ahead of our Super Cup final.