Atléticos in America (Quarter-finals edition)

Copa América underdogs prevail in a giant-killing quarter-finals weekend

Forlán celebrates with Uruguayan team-mates (AP)

Forlán celebrates with Uruguayan team-mates (AP)

In a wacky and totally unexpected turn of events, all four favourites of the Copa América quarter-final round were shown the door, seemingly in alphabetical order, with the elimination of Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Colombia over the weekend.

Along with their respective national teams, Atlético players Luis Perea, Elias and Sergio Aguero were sent home packing, while Uruguayan duo Diego Forlán and Diego Godín will remain in Argentina for at least another week.

After defeating Kun’s Argentina in a penalty shootout, the Celeste pair will take on Peru on Tuesday evening in the semi-finals.

Depending on the outcome of that clash, Uruguay will either take part in Saturday’s third-place match or Sunday’s final.

Luis Perea (Colombia)
Luis Perea’s Colombia side entered their quarter-final match against Peru as the highest seeded team in the tournament, following an impressive group stage performance that included three straight shut-outs.

Los Cafeteros were fully expected to prevail against Group C’s third place finisher, but a 2-0 upset by the Peruvians in the opener of the quarter-finals was an early warning sign of the surprises to come.

Rumoured Atlético target Radamel Falcao blew a chance to settle the clash in regulation when he missed a penalty kick in the 65th minute.

Our 32-year-old centre-back started the match after having played all 270 minutes of Colombia’s group phase, and another 90 minute period elapsed without Perea’s back line conceding a goal.

All knotted up at 0-0, the match went into extra time where Peru capitalised on two horrible mistakes by – no no, relax, not by Perea – by Colombian goalkeeper Neco Martínez to come out victorious.

Though our Turbo was gaff-free throughout the game and was fairly solid, he didn’t look quite as sharp as he had in his squad’s first three meetings, perhaps because of the added pressure of the game.

He needlessly conceded a corner kick when he had plenty of time to control and clear the ball cleanly, and looked like he was suffering from a lack of confidence at times, reminiscent of his bad days at the Calderón.

It’s unclear when Perea is due back in Madrid and if he will be available for our Europa League qualifier on the 28th.

AS reports that Atleti sporting director Jose Luis Caminero will speak to the veteran defender soon, likely to inform him when he is expected to return to the club, and maybe even to discuss his future.

Diego Forlan and Diego Godin (Uruguay)
Whether it was purely out of spite towards Kun Agüero, or whether it was out of exasperation with the whole saga of the 23-year-old’s sale, the Atlético world got turned on its head prior to the big clash between Argentina and Uruguay.

Rojiblanco supporters, who had grown so accustomed to siding with Kun and railing against Forlan, found themselves throwing all their support behind Cachavacha.

The 32-year-old, who now holds the record for most official caps with the Uruguayan national team with 80, delivered by sending in the free kick cross that led to Uruguay’s stunning early goal in the fifth minute.

Higuaín levelled just over 10 minutes later however, and la Celeste goal scorer and Forlán look-alike Diego “Ruso” Pérez saw red about five minutes before half time.

At that point, things were looking grim for Caminero and Atleti fans hoping for Kun’s future to get resolved within the coming week.

Uruguay were forced to play a man down for the majority of the second half, and in the final minutes of regulation play, Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero denied Forlan a point blank chance to end his months-long goalless streak.

Uruguayan goalkeeper Fernando Muslera turned in an epic eight-save performance that carried the 1-1 tie into extra time, and then into penalty shootout.

It must have felt surreal to Forlán to blast home his penalty kick, as it was the first time one of his shots ended up in the back of the net since way back on March 5th against Villarreal.

Muslera decided the thriller by guessing right to block Tévez’s spotkick, the only one that was missed in the shootout.

Atleti defender Diego Godín was inactive once again, and it’s a safe bet that, barring suspension or injury to a team-mate, the 25-year-old will not take part in the next game.

Uruguay advance to the semi-final round where they will square off against Peru on Tuesday evening.

Sergio Aguero (Argentina)
Kun appeared in hosts Argentina’s starting XI for the second straight time in Saturday’s match against Uruguay, but the competition’s leading scorer (3 goals) was only able to muster a single off-target shot in the 83 minutes he spent on the pitch before being subbed off for Carlos Tévez.

12 minutes into the second half, play was halted after a man jumped out of the crowd and ran towards Kun. No folks, it wasn’t an Atleti hitman. It was the notorious pitch invader Jimmy Jump, who placed his traditional red beanie cap on Aguero’s head and assaulted him with a kiss on the cheek before being tackled by security.

Now that Argentina have been eliminated, Kun is expected to announce where he will be taking his talents this upcoming season. His agent, Hernán Reguera, told Argentinean paper Olé on Sunday, “This week, everything will be settled.”

Word has it that Kun will be joining David de Gea’s crosstown rivals Manchester City, who will reportedly pay his full release clause of €45 million.

AS, following up on the City rumours out of the Argentine press, rounded up usual suspects Rossi, Falcao and Osvaldo as possible replacements for Aguero.

Elias (Brazil)
As expected, Elias did not take part in his national team’s quarter-final encounter against Paraguay.

After 120 minutes of play, the teams remained tied at 0-0. Paraguayan goalie and former Valladolid man Justo Villar turned in a magnificent performance, as he was able to keep a clean sheet in spite of Brazil’s 16-shot barrage.

The Seleção’s inability to score continued all the way to the penalty shootout, where they self-destructed and shockingly missed all four of their spotkicks.

Atléticos would like to think the outcome of the match would have been different had Elias been unleashed. Unfortunately, because of Mano Menezes’ mercy towards the Paraguayans, we will never know.

It shouldn’t be too long before the well-rested midfielder introduces himself to new coach Gregorio Manzano in his return to Spain.

  • leofranco

    Thibaut Courtois on long-term loan to rojiblancos?

  • Javi

    According to, kun, Elias and perea have been instructed to show up for practice next Sunday to prep for the EL game and along with forlan and Godin they would take vacations after the two EL elimination games

  • Javi

    Leofranco I believe Courthois was sold this week to another team. There is rumor that Roberto is leaving Benfica and coming with us

  • leofranco

    Yeah Chelsea but a friend sad he had heard something about Courthois talking about long-term loan to us in a interview today.. From Chelsea that is

  • leofranco

    Thats why i wrote here, maybe someone else knows more.. Information is not easy to get as a rojiblanco in sweden:)

  • Javi

    That’s all Ive heard about this but loaning him to us doesn’t make sense because we already have two young goalies to develop

  • Davide

    Manchester City seems pretty close to signing Kun. For me it would be acceptable. First of because then we don’t need to be reminded of him if he stays in Spain and second because Mancini is a mediocre at handling players and pretty much has a conflict in interest with most players in the squad. Also because City have no winning traditions (what Kun was after i tihink). Sooner or later players get tired of the plastic atmosphere surrounding the club. Then they get depressed and wants out. Then he will miss the passion, fans and football that is Atlético. Also he will have to battle it out with Balotelli, Dzeko and Adebayor. If Kuns ends up going to City it means he dug himself a hole that he couldn’t get out of at Atlético. First it was only Spain for him, then nobody came for him, then Italy was ok, but only mid-table Juventus showed interest and now even England ssems to be ok. I think he actually regrets being so careless with his announcement now.

  • Chalet

    It was a pity to see Colombia getting knocked out of the tournament and I felt sorry for Perea.
    But it was a great pleasure to see how la Celeste managed to eliminate Argentina!
    I think that Uruguay have done us a great favour there, so hopefully Agüero´s future is getting resolved within the upcoming days!

    I couldn´t believe my eyes when I saw Forlán stepping up for Uruguay to take the first penalty kick right after Messi.
    Forlán couldn´t find the back of the net for ages now – so he was either very courageous or full of self-confidence.
    I was very delighted for him that he could convert his penalty kick.

    After the game Forlán went to every single Argentina player to shake hands with and he also exchanged a few words with Agüero – but understandably Agüero looked pissed off and moved on.


    Great article!
    And this time you got all the nicknames right… 😉

  • leofranco

    @Javi saw somebody on twitter say the same thing now but im on youre side, I dont want a new goalkeeper at all, Joel and Asenjo are both worthy to prove them self!

  • Gert

    Courtois signed a deal with Chelsea. He revealed to the Belgian press though that it’s very likely he would be directly loaned out to Atletico for at least one season.

    The deal for Kun with Mac City could be 40 mln EUR and Dzeko.
    That would be a good deal in my opinion since City paid quite some money for Dzeko!!

  • Chalet

    Sorry guys, no offence – but isn´t it a bit off topic to discuss about Courtois in the “Copa América” – thread?

    Maybe someone could start a separate thread about this issue?

  • Gert

    That’s why we need a forum! 🙂

    The AtleticoFans crew is working on that!

  • javi

    Leofranco, yes and seem to be confirming that we are getting courthouis on loan, why???
    Gert, I would not take less than 45m for Kun since City is getting over 50m pounds for tevez, which is 57m eu. We can buy a striker with kuns money

  • javi

    Chalet, we dont control the site so we can only comment on the open threads. Maybe we can have the guys open one for the potential deals that could happen this week and we can talk about this stuff there.

  • Chalet

    Gert + Javi //

    Thanks for explaining the situation to me.
    I´m sorry, I wasn´t aware of this.

  • Davide


    I actually heard this cash + Dzeko rumour today. What anount of truth it has i don’t know.


  • starvs

    How can you not snap call 40m + Dzeko? That is a value way greater than 45 million. I doubt that it is true though, doesn’t make much sense.

    Taking a young goal keeper on loan makes even less sense. Play the young talent we got…

  • Martin Rosenow

    @Chalet Haha, I tossed in that courtesy ‘Ruso’ Pérez just for you my friend 😉

  • Davide


    I hope it’s true. Dzeko has rapidly fallen in the pecking order at Eastlands and is highly regarded as a flop. City is buliding a CL tem and think Dzeko will be shown the door if a good offer or trade comes knocking or if they use him as bait. I mean if Kun is arrivning at Eastlands, then City needs to cut back on that big strike force. Also he is sitt5ing on a sallary like 150 000 € a week.

  • leofranco

    I was so upset because i heard about the loan so i just had to ask here.. A forum would be awesome! btw, love this site and the work youre doin!

  • SoLobo

    A chat service would be great too!

  • Chalet

    @ Martin:

    Haha, yes I noticed how you mentioned ‘Ruso’ Pérez in this special way, mate.

    Of course you know that Forlán and ‘Ruso’ are very good friends and that they know each other since they were little boys…
    Sometimes after school ‘Ruso’´s auntie had to watch the two Diegos and they were always very pleased with the babysitting because she used to take them to a certain fast food restaurant very often… 😉

  • Guest

    It’s kind of a drag that Godin hasn’t been able to play. There’s been some times when having him out there would have been helpful.

    Overall, I have been pleased with Forlán’s efforts. Many of Uruguay’s best chances have come from him. He’s had some nice shots on goal only to be denied. He’s been doing some things I haven’t seen from him too often. Like running down balls that would have gone out and turning them into opportunities to score. His attitude has been mainly positive and he’s never seemed happier. Seeing him nail that penalty was a good feeling. Hopefully, it has done him some good as well. I’d like to see all of this carry over into the 2011/12 season.

    I can’t comment in Kun. I have very little constructive to say about him.