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.