Atlético has a number of South Americans currently in Argentina, participating in the Copa América that kicked off last week.
The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) tournament takes place every four years and includes 10 nations from the continent, along with two special invitees from other FIFA confederations.
After the first round of action, Atleti defender Luis Amaranto Perea had bragging rights over his team-mates, as his Colombia side was the only one to haul in three points.
Wednesday evening’s match, the first of the second round of the competition, pits Rojiblancos Perea and Sergio Aguero in a fierce encounter between Colombia and Argentina.
The result of the bout could prove decisive in determining which national side qualifies through to the next stage.
Sergio Aguero (Argentina)
Kun started off the inaugural Group A match against Bolivia parked on the bench, as Argentina coach Sergio Batista preferred to go with Napoli striker Ezequiel Lavezzi in his stead.
A fluke goal by the underdog Bolivians, described by Messi as “a shit goal”, stunned the hosts, who likely thought the game would be a walk in the park.
Bolivia impressively withstood the Albiceleste onslaught for a while, but Aguero, who came on for Lavezzi in the 70th minute, nabbed the equaliser just five minutes after stepping onto the pitch with a spectacular strike.
The 22-year-old sparked a late surge for his team, but Bolivia weathered the storm and the match ended 1-1, much to the disappointment of the home crowd.
Luis Perea (Colombia)
Perea played the full 90 minutes of los Cafeteros’ 1-0 victory over invitee country and international minnows Costa Rica.
Colombia caught a bit of a break as their opponent was slated to be Japan, but the Asians pulled out from the competition over concerns regarding the availability of some of their players on club duty abroad.
The win put Colombia top of the group, with Argentina and Bolivia behind them tied at one point apiece, and los Ticos at the bottom with zero.
Ahead of Wednesday’s tough clash against Argentina, Perea told the Spanish EFE news agency, “We have to be smart because we often focus our attention on Messi, but there are other players.
“Even if we keep our eyes on Messi, it’s very difficult to stop him.”
The Atleti midfielder spent the entire match, a 0-0 letdown draw against Venezuela, on the bench.
Elias will hope to see some action in the Seleção’s Group B game versus Paraguay on Saturday. Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay and Venezuela are all level on one point each in the group.
Not a single goal was scored in any of the group’s matches.
Diego Forlan and Diego Godin (Uruguay)
As many of us expected, ‘La Rubia’, dubbed by some as “the most well-rested player in the tournament”, looked like a new man in his sky blue national kit.
Forlan was very active in Uruguay’s Group C 1-1 draw against Peru, participating in the play that led to Liverpool striker Luis Suárez’s game-tying goal.
The 32-year-old was unrecognisable to Atleti fans for most of the match, and even executed a perfect bicycle cross, although he did resemble the Forlan of our 2010/11 season when he botched a fairly easy chance that would have won it for los Charrúas.
While Cachavacha played 90 minutes, his buddy Diego Godín was sidelined with a muscle injury. Godín is expected to be back in time for Uruguay’s match against group leaders Chile on Friday.
Group C is rounded out by a watered down Mexican side of U-22 players who lost to the Chileans, as the Chicharitos and Guardados stayed home following their title-winning Gold Cup campaign.