Another international break for Atleti

Diego rounds-up the players featuring for their national sides

Juanfran featured for Spain (pic: official site)

Juanfran featured for Spain (pic: official site)

Success has consequences, and in Atlético de Madrid’s case this means that more and more players are called by their respective national teams. Here’s a round-up of how everyone got on.

This international break left Simeone with only five players under his command. Staying behind were Moyá, Gabi, Mario Suárez, Siqueira and Gámez, who fractured his nose during a training session.

Cerci, Ansaldi and Raúl Jiménez were called up again to their national teams after their recent absence.

The worst news of this break was Miranda’s hamstring injury playing against Austria. He will be tested on Wednesday, but the first explorations suggest that he will be out about two or three weeks.

It wasn’t all bad though, as several players had great performances, and some of them will be knocking on Simeone’s door asking for more playing time in the coming weeks.

On Wednesday 12th, Spain U21 faced Belgium U21 for a friendly. Saúl Ñíguez played the full match and set up Munir to score, but he could not avoid Spain losing 4-1. Óliver Torres and Manquillo, loaned to Porto and Liverpool, weren’t called up this time.

The same day Argentina beat Croatia 2-1 after coming from behind. Cristian Ansaldi made it 1-1, but was taken off after 70 minutes.

Mandžukic was rested for the match, as the Croatian manager allowed him to focus on their more decisive match against Italy.

Arda and Miranda played the 90 minutes against each other, but Miranda got the upper hand with a solid 4-0 win for Brazil.

Raúl Jiménez played the last 18 minutes against Netherlands, helping Mexico to a 3-2 win.

Godín and Giménez played at the back for Uruguay in a match that was finally decided from the penalty spot after a 3-3 draw. (Costa Rica won 7-6 on penalties)

Cebolla, who played 80 minutes, set up Luis Suárez for their first goal and Giménez scored their second. Velázquez, loaned to Getafe did not play.

Portugal won their European Qualifier match against Armenia 1-0. Tiago played the full match for the first time after his comeback to the Portuguese National Team.

France tied 1-1 against Albania. Griezmann only played the last 37 minutes, but he managed to score a goal.

There were two more European Qualifiers matches on Saturday involving Atlético de Madrid players. England won 3-1 over Slovenia while Oblak watched helpless from the bench, and Spain got three important points after winning 3-0 against Belarus.

Raúl García did not play, but Juanfran and Koke played the full match and helped Spain to achieve the victory with one assist each.

Two Atleti players got to play the full match on Sunday. Arda Turan captained Turkey to win 3-1 against Kazakhstan, and Mandžukic, who played against Italy.

Cerci had to watch the match, which finished 1-1, from the bench.

Tuesday was a day of highs and lows for the Atleti players.

Miranda was injured while he was playing against Austria and he had to be subbed off after just 28 minutes.

But on the other hand, those out of favour at Atleti got a chance to shine on the international stage.

Raúl Jiménez scored both goals in Mexico’s 3-2 defeat against Belarus.

Oblak, another player who has got few chances at Atleti, played the full 90 minutes against Colombia. Alessio Cerci played 77 minutes during the Italian 1-0 victory over Albania.

The three Uruguayan Atleti players started again against Chile and they all played the full match.

Griezmann set up the French goal in their 1-0 victory over Sweden.

Tiago and Ansaldi faced each other for about 70 minutes on Portugal’s 0-1 victory against Argentina.

Finally, Raul García started against Germany. He had several chances to score, but in the end Spain lost 1-0 with a late German goal. Koke and Juanfran didn’t play.

That’s it for the international break until the 23rd of March – hopefully we can see some rotation over the next few months and give our international stars a chance to shine on the domestic stage.

  • Chewie

    With Miranda out and Siqueira serving his suspension, we’ll have at least two changes – Gimenez has to be given playing time along with Ansaldi. I hope to see Tiago back in action and maybe one of Cerci/JImenez to join Griezmann and Mandzukic up front.

    Next game we must kick some ass.

  • That was a great international break, many of our players have played more minutes in these 2 weeks more than they played with Atleti in the last 2 months !!

    but for me, the best thing was Miranda’s injury
    don’t get me wrong like some friends in twitter did, I’m not happy because he is injured, but because what many of us have been asking for will finally happen, which is benching out-of-shape, 30-years-old Miranda, and giving more minutes for the very young, very talented and very promising Gimenez who already made a great partnership with Godin in Uruguay national team, and he is scoring goals for them, and who is already receiving a lot of offers

    It’s too sad that only injuries will make Simeone do it

    The other Gimenez, the one with the J also deserves more minutes, not only because he is good and trying very hard, but also because we can not loan him in the winter, unlike Cerci who we started to hear rumors about him being loaned to Inter
    Jimenez played some games with America before we signed him, and the rules prevent him from playing for 3 different clubs in one season, so his only possible destination is to go back Again to Club America, and that of course is not an acceptable option

    I hope this break makes some changes in Simeone’s philosophy, especially next week where Mario & Siqueira are suspended, and Miranda & Gamez are injured

  • Arjit Barua

    Seeing so many of our players so well internationally is a great. There’s some really good, entertaining attacking football going on. It actually kind of makes me question though why we these players aren’t playing at those level in the league. As much as I love Simeone for his successes in the last few years, we really can’t go any further with 10-men behind the ball, close down hard and then rely on set pieces to score. This worked really well when we had a terrible defense and literally THE best strikers in the world to finish off the few chances we did create (except the first couple months last season, those were the best run of games Atletico had played in recent years, every single player was phenomenal). The international break is a huge eye opener for the amount of talent we have and I think Simeone needs a serious shuffle of tactics to make use of our squad. Griezmann and Arda need to be our way forward, koke play deep and mandzukic either start making some runs off the ball or put in Jimenez. The reason Costa received so much service is because he was actually away from his marker…

  • I am really hoping to see Cerci in the mix. If he is, he better do outstanding if he wants to stay on the pitch.

  • “Proof is in the pudding” as they say, and I think all the Atletico players that are sitting on the bench but playing on their National Teams, have proven themselves. Simeone needs to start playing them. Why not?! They are good players. And after the sluggish showing of the last game, it is the perfect time to try it. Also with Miranda injured, that also opens things up. I think if we go for a more finesse style of play, Atleti coaches and fans might be surprised by what can be done.

  • It is a shame that injury gives other chances, but that is why Moya is not playing and Oblak is on the bench. We should see some new players on the field. Ahmand, do you think Simeone has to get rid of the mentality of only having a starting 11? I don’t think he is used to having such a talented and deep bench. Time to use them.

  • great point about Moya, if Oblak wasn’t injured maybe Moya wouldn’t have played, not even in the cup (Courtois was also the GK in the cup in 2013 & 2014) and he could have turned into another Aranzubia !
    but I don’t think Gimenez can take Miranda’s spot though .. or can he ?!

    and a greater point about Simeone, he never had such a strong bench in his managerial career, not with us, and not with Racing, Estudiantes, River Plate, San Lorenzo and Catania, in some of those teams he didn’t even have a strong starting 11 !

    yes, I think he should change his mentality, and I think he also thinks that, but he is gonna need some time, because this is a new situation for him and he is still learning and improving, and because – like I said before – he has a very small margin of error

  • atleti10

    I think that with Miranda out we wont see changes anywhere else on the pitch as when there has bern changes its only been in one or two positions. I want to see


    I think its are most creative team yet very solid and hardworking. In fact id like see us keep this formation. Putting Tiago in for Saul and Miranda in for Gimenez and you have our best 11 imo. Lets see Cerci for at least 30 mins also.

    Aupa Atleti

  • Αθανάσιος Νικηταράς

    Agree with you.. About Gimenez, he has to play but of course this in not the year he will take Miranda’s spot

  • I guess we will see your line up in Saturday, except Tiago instead of Saul
    That’s the line up Simeone tested in training today

    and surely we will see Jimenez, Cerci & Saul on the bench, since 4 players are out for suspensions & injuries : Siqueira, Mario, Miranda & Gamez
    in fact, Cholo will have to call one more player from the youth team to complete his 18-men list, probably it will be Lucas Hernandez, our talented and promising French CB

  • atleti10

    Good stuff although its the formation thats key. I think Simeone will go for a 4 4 2 with Griez and Mandzukic up front which I just dont think works with the players in the team. Hopefully we’ll see Koke playing as the Pivot Playmaker