Saturday evening, in what was his 204th league appearance with Atlético, Luis Amaranto Perea perfectly typified his club of seven seasons.
For most of the night, the Colombian centre-back put his positive attributes on display and looked Champions League worthy while, once or twice, succumbing to a lapse of concentration that could have ended up costing los Colchoneros dearly.
Perea entered the Rojiblanco record books, surpassing legendary Argentine defender Jorge Bernardo Griffa, as the most-capped foreign player at Atlético.
Renowned for his blistering speed, the 32-year-old was once the subject of transfer talks between Atleti and Barcelona after he had swept Blaugrana officials off their feet in a 2-0 Colchonero victory at the Camp Nou in the 2004-05 season.
The player they were considering giving us for Perea? A 22-year-old midfielder named Andrés Iniesta.
The central defender has his fair share – if not an overwhelming amount – of detractors, but as he told MARCA ahead of our 1-0 triumph in Coruña, “It hasn’t been in any way easy, but if I’ve made it to this point, there has to be something good about me.”
When asked about his legacy, specifically, how he would like to be remembered in 30 years, Perea said:
“I want to be remembered as a professional. The people have to value me as a sincere, hard-working and happy person. Beyond whether it went poorly or well for me on the field, I’m a hard worker and I hope that is what is remembered about me.”
Luis Amaranto has famously never scored a goal for Atleti, but was robbed of a perfectly valid goal against Real Madrid in the 2006-07 campaign.