Be careful what you wish for, Muntari

Atlético take on AC Milan in next round of Champions League

Sulley Muntari and Robinho

Muntari and Robinho (Marco Vasini, AP)

Mark the 19th of February and the 11th of March in your calendar. That’s when Atlético Madrid take on AC Milan in the next round of the UEFA Champions League.

Seldom has the draw of the round of 16 been as predictable as it was on Monday afternoon. After Sulley Muntari’s comments in the press last week, there simply wasn’t going to be a way that the Rojiblancos wouldn’t be paired with the Rossonero.

Muntari had caused quite a stir after saying he was hoping to draw Atlético, claiming that “they’re the weakest of the first-seeded teams.”

The comments didn’t go down well with fans of Atleti, or with Gabi, who cheekily responded to a journalist’s question, “Who is Muntari?”.

After today’s draw, Raúl García was more political in his answer. “[Muntari] got what he wanted. He’ll be happy, because this is what he asked for. Now he’ll have to work hard to earn a spot in the next round,” ‘RG8’ added.

García was attending the presentation of Atlético Madrid’s Calendario Solidario, a project to support patients of rare diseases.

Of course, Enrique Cerezo was also present and willing to share his thoughts on our upcoming European opponents. The enigmatic president was surprisingly humble.

“Milan have won seven Champions League titles, and we have none. Last season they beat Barcelona 2-0, so they’re no easy team to beat”, the Don added.

Are you satisfied with the draw? Do you think Atlético can make it past this round to the quarter finals?

  • starvs

    Think Olympiakos would have been most ideal, but as long as we dodged City (and to lesser extent Aresenal), not too bad.

  • Chewie

    Hell yes I am satisfied, can’t wait to see Muntari’s face after the second leg.

  • pantic#10

    I still have nightmares to remember Muntari playing for Internazionale (my italian team)…
    Hope he’ll play the two matches against us…so he’ll learn from our Iron-Captain Gabi, Tiago, Mario, Arda, Koke….how to play in the mid-field 🙂
    Just put RG8 in cryogenic sleep and wake up him 5 minutes before the match 🙂 so he can unleash his full power !!!!!

  • pantic#10

    Muntari will miss (together with Montolivo) the first match.
    Honda also can’t play.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    of course I’m satisfied .. a 100%

    we avoided the worst opponent in pot 2, Man City
    they are – with Bayern- are the strongest team in the competition, they just lack experience, but they are getting it game after game,
    the best example is losing to Bayern in the first game then beating them at Alianz Arena in the second

    and they do have individual experiences, especially for Yaya Tore who have won the title before, and who is -in my opinion- one of the top 10 players in the world

    and they have a very great coach who made history with teams who had 1/10 of Man City budget

    Personally, I believe they are the favorite in their tie with Barca

    So, avoiding Man City in this early stage makes me very satisfied

    Another Important Point :

    facing a small team like Olympiakos (with due all respect to all Greeks, especially our friend Piserakos) is not a very good thing either
    a game like Atleti-Olympiakos will get much less TV money than Atleti-Milan
    and we are desperate to every cent
    also, we could not have a full stadium against weaker teams, but against Milan we will sell every single ticket

    beside, knocking out a 7-time champion from the competition will give Atleti a lot of respect and prestige, something will not happen if we knocked out Galatsaray, Olympiakos or even Schalke

    so, our best choice was a big name who is not so big in this moment
    and there were to of them : Arsenal & Milan
    and we have an extra advantage over the last one : Simeone’s Italian experience

    according to all of the above, my conclusion is :
    Milan was our ideal opponent

    and we got them !

  • Shai

    So where is the first game played? The one on 19/2?

  • Bushdoctor504

    Haha! I’m certainly satisfied… I’ll be even more satisfied when the team who draws us in the quarterfinals talks shit, underestimates us, and watches us win our semifinal game from their couch… We will destroy Milan! Aupa Atletì

  • piserakos

    agree with Ahmad at everything… plus a draw against Olympiakos would have 3 more problems.
    1) I see Milan underastimates us and they believe that they are favorites that’s good for Simeone’s men cause that’s how we like to play, Olympiakos would play with a lot of respect and most of the team at the defence.
    2) Milan has enough experience and lacks of passion and excitement about those games, instead Olympiakos plays at top-16 for 3rd time of his life (if I remember well, may I sould ask my father he is a fan of this team) and there is a lot of excitment about those games the stadium would be full and with a lot of passion that could be tricky instead San Siro isn’t a ‘hot’ stadium espatially when Milan plays
    3) Imagine get eliminated for Olympiakos, that would be dissaster, eliminate from a team like Milan, hell I can accept it

  • farhan

    some mothns ago villa set milan on fire… hope you all remember that goal..
    and from he needs to step up because he is most experiance and best forward of our team…

    and hope milan remeber hit tooo

  • AaX

    Good Point = Simeone’s Italian Experience (Inter Milan).

  • Dircil

    @Ahmad: one obvious drawback I can see when we face Milan is the huge amount of energy and effort we put in the matches. In the long-run campaign, it’s preferable we face easiest teams all the way long to the final. That can save us not only energy but also increase the likelihood of achieving the ultimate goal which is winning the CL title and the liga one! However, achieving successes through this way considers to be less thrilling and rewarding after all. We eventually learn less valuabe experience from defeating small teams than the bigger ones like Bayern or MU. Beating seeded and well regarded teams in Europe will bring about the media coverage, world-wide reputation and heap of followers from many populated countries. That will be awesome mates! Then when mentioning about Madrid, people will immediately refer to Atletico not Real!

  • pantic#10

    Guys….here in Italy…they’re all crazy 🙂
    Do you know what said an Executive Director of Milan AC?
    That Atleti “bla bla…isn’t so strong on defense…bla bla”
    How can you say such a bull**t? You’re an Executive Director and you didn’t know what Zamora Trophey is?? unbelievable…
    We had and still have the best defense in La Liga….

    Instead…Zapata, Bonera, Mexes…are the best defenders of the world ahahaha

    BTW: rumours says that Berlusconi is selling the club (this time seriously) to Squinzi (currently owner of Sassuolo).

  • Nicola

    Sorry, am I missing something here? You Atletico fans need to simmer down and do some research. Sorry to disappoint you but along with PSG you are the weakest of the 1st placed teams ON PAPER. Live with it.All Muntari said was that Atletico were the weakest on paper of the 1st placed teams.

    It is a FACT…what are you all getting on about him wanting to play Atletico? In terms of Euro Cups/CL wins…Real x 9, Bayern x 5, Barcelona x 4, Man Utd x 3, BVB x 1, Chelsea x 1, PSG x 0, Atletico x 0 (finalist 1974)

    Muntari…“Atletico Madrid are the weakest team on paper looking at the history of all the first placed teams. But I would prefer to face Manchester United.”

  • Ash

    @NICOLA Then why Muntari didn’t say that PSG is the weakest, instead of Atletico? You theory is flawed.

  • Ash

    @NICOLA Plus, according to your “on paper” theory, PSG should be the weakest since it hasn’t even made it to the final. But I’d suggest let the result decide who is to be humiliated eventually.

  • Nicola

    Ash, maybe because PSG has a whole load of big name players, hence they ARE NOT the weakest on paper. They are very strong on paper and are a lot stronger than many other teams out there on paper (and otherwise). Atletico are a team made up of a fantastic collective…2nd to none actually. Not big name popular players but really good players that work for the team. They are one of the best teams out there and as a Milan fan I thought Atletico to be one of the worst team to draw (thoughts before the draw). They are in form, have a great manager, great unit of players and can beat anyone.

    That said, Milan is a team full of prestige, CL pedigree, history, etc but not in good form. Great history/not great form as opposed to Atletico. But as we all know you don’t win games on history or form. There will be respect for Atletico but by no means fear. Not sure about anyone being humiliated but we will see who survives come Feb/Mar. As hard as it is for Milan it will be equally difficult for Atletico. Milan and Atletico have had a great relationship over the years, one of mutual respect, so good to see that the hierarchy of both clubs have maintained that after the draw.

  • Nicola

    Sorry my earlier comment should have had PSG being weakest historically. You’re right Ash…it was flawed.That alone though. 🙂

  • pantic#10

    The “ON PAPER” theory is inconsistent; and anyone who plays or watches football….knows it.
    But it’s the classic way of thinking of my arrogant country…and that’s why Italian football clubs (and national team) are constantly kicked out of competitions…or suffer against less strong “ON PAPER” teams 😉

    Anyway Gattuso and Brocchi told me to bet on an Atleti victory…seems like they are experts about bets 🙂

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I can not understand these people ..
    they have twitter, facebook, and many other social networks
    and they have tens of sport websites that allow posting comments, and some of it don’t have censorship and you can say anything you want to say, anything, no matter how offensive it is

    and yet, they have to come to our “small” website and attack us and insult our club

    get a life man

  • Nicola

    Ahmad, are you reading this in English or does this translate to another language? What was offensive? What was offensive was how you attacked Muntari unjustly without doing some research and understanding what he said. I simply stated facts. What attack and insult? I complemented the club you support several times. Arrogance? You guys need to relax yourself and read the messages again. Please read what I said before coming across as illiterate.

    Well said Pantic…classy. So glad we didn’t get kicked out on those 11 European Cup finals with 7 wins 🙂 That’s where the old cliche comes in…”Form is temporary but class is permanent”

    True class seems to come from the people that represent the esteemed Atletico Madrid club….
    Director Villaverde: “This isn’t just any team, it’s AC Milan. They have an incredible history. We must look to be better than them and to do everything possible in order to beat them. We respect every team here but we also have potential and will use our strengths.”
    Raul Garcia: “Milan are a team with history, it will be nice to play them,”

  • Nicola

    Good luck Atletico! All the best…both teams have all the ingredients to make it a thrilling and interesting knock out match.

    Forza Milan!

  • kris

    Nicola you bring a great point and none of us were really disrespecting Milan but Muntari who disrespected us by calling an easy team which we maybe for them who are barely a midtable club in Serie A while we top the Liga BBVA charts. Weak, yes. Atletico are going to be playing as the underdogs yet again since we haven’t won 7 UCLs like Milan have, so I hope you guys have fun playing as the favorites and get beaten the San Siro and the Calderon… Anything can happen in football, but I see Simeone as much more of a tactician than Allegris small brain could ever imagine….

  • Valinia

    @NICOLA nottingham forest is a club with history n won the european cup twice, so according to your theory nottingham forest is a better team than atleti n they r gonna beat atleti now? it just doesnt make sense. yeah we all know milan was a great team which won 7 ucl but thats what we call HISTORY. u just show us how ignorant milan fans are.

  • Chewie

    I hope Milan will solve its problems and will be a worthy opponent to Simeone’s gang. All this history talk is pathetic. And though Nicola didn’t say anything wrong, I don’t like seeing that kind of posts here. It’s natural for fans to expect a thrashing of an opponent, especially such a troubled one like today’s Milan.

  • Bushdoctor504

    Thankfully games aren’t played on paper… Underestimate atletì at your own peril…

  • ali_

    ahmad was right. why do u even bother to come here and comment, nicola? dont u have anything else to do?
    i hope none of us do the same. all these kids today with their flame wars… jesus

  • Jeronamo

    I’m enjoying this soooo much its difficult to describe. I applaud the respect and I’m also angry at the disrespect, Nicola may have respect for us but what Muntari said was disrespectful to any club in our position, so please understand why the posts from our supporters seem hostile, its just that Muntari lit a fire under our bellies so this is completely rational behaviour

  • Shai

    So I’ll probably travel to Milano to watch our beloved Atleti!

    Anyone else from this Forum will be there?

  • piserakos

    damn you shai I want to come:P hope I win some money till that day and join you:P
    anyway Pantic you said that at Italy they say that Atleti has a weak defence. Trust me most of sports analysers don’t know much things, they say the same at my country. (they started 2-3 weeks before say that we are a super-team and maybe we are better than barca and real).
    History is history. Milan has a huge history, Atleti has a big one too, bigger than Chelsea, Psg and some other teams. According to history then I would put Atleti above of those two teams and above from BVB. According to budget I don’t know the financial info about all teams but I think we have the smallest. According to skill (this is not my opinion) we are after Real, Barca and Bayer the worst team for someone to face, mine opinion no one want us (that was thierry henry said that was many players said). BVB and MU would be the ideal oponents right now. AUPA ATLETI

  • pantic#10

    ASAP i’ll post info about tickets 😉
    so far i’ve found only one website who sell them from 99,00 euro to 299,00 euro.

  • pantic#10

    on another website:
    3rd ring from 79,00 euro to 92,00 euro
    2nd ring: from 110,00 euro to 124,00 euro
    1st ring: from 125.00 euro to 299,00 euro

  • Ash

    I’m saving for a ticket to a. the final of ucl if Atleti can make it there, or b. the match that will see Atleti win this season’s title. 😀

  • Shai

    @Pantic: These are the prices for the SanSiro match?

  • Nick_Gr

    I always hate it when two teams I support face each other and that’s the 3rd time that happens (the other 2 were the CL finals between Milan – Liverpool). Anyway, I believe it is a good draw for Atletico because Milan is in a transitional stage and I can’t see how the problems within the team will be solved till the time of the two matches. The only thing that worries me in general with the Italian teams is that they have a way to somehow hypnotize their opponents with the slow tempo they follow and then somehow they score in a counter attack and the opponent team will find itself in the losing position in a game that it had under control

    @piserakos I don’t think MU will be as bad as they are now in February-March and about BVB their biggest problem are the many injuries of key players. So if atletico were playing the matches in 2 weeks then yes I would agree with you but now I think Milan is a better choice.

  • Nicola

    Enjoy the game later Atletico fans! All in the good spirit of the sport. Looking fwd to it as the San Siro has a special feel on big CL nights like these. As a Milan fan I fear the worst (over the 2 legs) as Atletico is so strong right now. Atletico has the ability to win the whole CL, just like the Europa last season. Sometimes the best collective teams win it and you all have the right ingredients. Hopefully we’ll make it a good contest and an enjoyable game. FORZA MILAN!

  • Chewie

    It’s a pleasure to have sensible rivals’ fans here. I too wish that some quality football will be player, though I fear the wirst – that Atletico will play ultra-defensively and try to squeeze the life out of Milan and the game itself.

  • Nicola

    Chewie, that’s a really nice thing to say. Likewise and same to you! After all the clubs have had a great relationship over the years and I’ve always liked and respected Atletico over the years so would be great for the fans to continue it. I remember all the players with ties between the 2 clubs as well…Jose Mari, Javi Moreno, Paulo Futre, Cosmin Contra, Abbiati, Albertini, Vieri. Good history!
    Interesting points on the game tactics by the Colchoneros. Your game is a really solid one, excellent defensively and attacking…all as one unit which makes them so powerful. Probably the best organised team in Europe and breaking them down would take something special. I think Atletico would just play their usual collective game. Milan will try to press high up the field to win possession but that cannot last the whole game as Milan don’t have the fitness to play 90 mins of that game, which makes the Atletico counter attack game very dangerous. There might be some late goals that would break MIlan. What scares me is that defensively Milan has been so weak of late and you guys are so dangerous when on the counter attack. Essien and de Jong will have to play very well in midfield as defense cover for Bonera and Rami in the centre. There would be no shame in losing to Atletico, one of the top of the table teams in La Liga…no shame at all.
    It’s going to be an interesting contest between the 2 contrasting styles. Some good things in Milan’s favour in knowing a bit of Atletico and Spanish football…Seedorf, Kaka and Essien: ex Real, Abbiati: ex Atletico, Rami: ex Valencia. Chewie, been a pleasure communicating with you! I can’t say good luck 🙂 but I can say may the best team win!