He is arguably our most important and influential player, but incredible, Diego Godín is still yet to win the AtléticoFans.com Player of the Month award since it’s inauguration in September 2014.
That may be down in part to the fact we have gotten so used to his consistency that it no longer comes as a surprise, but his performances in February was too good to ignore.
Atleti fans know that Godín is without doubt one of the best centre-backs in world football, but sadly we’re still waiting for many to catch up. Unbelievably, he was only voted number 18 on the list of defenders for last year’s FIFPro XI.
This season, he has taken his level to new heights, leading Europe’s best defence to an extraordinary 25 clean sheets in all competitions and a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.
However, the 30 year-old faces a race against time in order to be fit for the next round, having gone off with a thigh strain in the penalty shootout victory over PSV on Tuesday.
Godín played through most of February with an injury picked up in the defeat to Barcelona at the Camp Nou, where he was sent off in the second half for two bookable offences.
He returned ahead of schedule though, and after missing the 3-1 win over Eibar early in the month, he started against Getafe, Villarreal, PSV and Real Madrid and helped us to clean sheets in all four of them.
El Faraón (the pharoah) was integral in each game, particularly the derby win as Zinedine Zidane’s free-scoring Galacticos were left frustrated once more by their city rivals.
Alongside his protégé José María Giménez at the back, Godín was rock solid, handling everything that Real could throw at in what was our third successive league win at the Santiago Bernabéu.
He is one of those players that just seems to love defending, never more evident than in that game as time and time again he made crucial blocks and interceptions to keep the home side at bay.
Atleti fans will be praying that he doesn’t miss too much time out on the sidelines, although the upcoming international break will give him good time to regain full fitness ahead of the end of season run-in, rather than jet off to play for Uruguay in South America.
Three weeks was the estimated recovery time in this week’s reports, which would make him touch and go for a return for our Champions League quarter-final first leg on April 5 or 6. We will find out our opponent on Friday.
Honourable mentions should go to the likes of Saúl, Filipe, Torres and Gabi for their impressive form during February, but we felt that Godín was a cut above and is long overdue some recognition.
Do you agree with our choice? How will Atleti cope without their leader in defence?