Confirmed: Atlético sign Diego Ribas

Brazilian playmaker joins on a one-year loan from Wolfsburg

Diego (AS)

Diego (AS)

UPDATE: Wolfsburg have confirmed the one-year loan of Diego to Atlético on their official website.

Original report: On Tuesday afternoon, Atlético finally completed the signing of Wolfsburg playmaker Diego Ribas da Cunha, reports AS.

The Brazilian midfielder will join on a one-year loan deal.

The Volkswagen club no longer counted on Diego and agreed to a deal after capturing Aliaksandr Hleb from Barcelona.

In Germany, the former Santos-midfielder had a conflict with coach Felix Magath, who insisted the Brazilian be shown the door.

In Madrid, Diego will hope to recover the form he displayed during his three seasons with Werder Bremen, when he scored 38 goals and earned a move worth €25 million to Juventus.

In Italy, he wasn’t able to settle and Diego returned to the Bundesliga one year later, but with little success.

Atleti fans will be wary of Diego’s form and disciplinary issues in recent years, but the prospect of having one of Brazil’s most creative and talented playmakers on our hands is very exciting.

  • Edletico

    Finally, great deal for Atletico. Any news on the buy out clause? I guess he would have one about 10m euros

  • karam

    greaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat 🙂

    what happend about falcao did they register him ?

  • Rojiblanco93

    Is there a buy out close??? There is no information about that? Does anyone know more?

  • Idan

    why he join on a one-year loan? why not sign him? I dont understand that.

  • 92

    So I guess the formation with Diego will be a 4-4-1-1, with Perea and Dominguez as CBs, Filipe Luis LB, Silvio CB, Gabi and Mario Suarez or Tiago in the center of the midfield, Reyes on the right wing, Turan on the left wing, Diego AF, and Falcao CF, it sounds good, let’s how these player work together and perform on the pitch.

  • palc

    More like 4-2-3-1.. A bit too attackminded if you ask me…

  • Edletico

    @92 he is meant to be the creative midfielder in the 4-3-3.
    The strongest line up would be

    Silvio Godin A.Dominguez Filipe
    Tiago/Gabi/koke Diego
    Reyes Turan

    looks strong on paper with the quality of passing that was on show on sunday added to the cutting edge of Falcao, Diego and Turan we could be in a better posistion then last year.
    The bench also seems improved, I hope Caminero continues to purchase/loan young talents throughout the season, he has impressed me a lot so far

  • Flo

    On loan, perfect deal.

  • 92

    @Palc yeah!, too much offensive power, but balanced, we can have 5 players or 7 players attacking if Silvio and Filipe Luis go forward but I don’t think it will be required now with Diego, and 4 or 6 players defending, so it looks pretty good.

    @Edletico, so you’ll line Mario Suarez as DF?, I don’t know about that, I would line Gabi as DF, and line Mario Suarez a little bit upfront, and so you think Diego is gonna be on the left midfield side?, I don’t know what’s the tactical scheme gonna be but, yeah on the paper it looks pretty strong with a LOT of passing, let’s see how it goes against Fuenlabrada and Valencia.

  • cadz

    I would of thought something more like a 442 with one more attack minded midfielder and one central midfielder.


    Silvio godin dominguez felipe

    Reyes tiago Diego turan

    A. Lopez Falcao

    Adrian lopez has impressed me in his the bench should also be strong this season. Could also work well with a. 4 3 1 2

  • Urban

    YEAH! YEAH! YEAH! Superb move by Caminero. The board has lived up to the expectations. DDG and Kun put us into a hard situation, but I must admit the club did great.

    IMHO the squad is more competetive than in the last year.

    I would line up the same 11 as Edletico.

    Cant wait to see the whole team firing with all the new cylinders!

  • Edletico


    Mario Suarez has played defensive midfield this season and looked good there, he always provided an option and can spray passes, tackling isn’t great but he can improve.
    Diego and one of the other three were meant to be both central midfielders with Diego more attacking.

    we need to beat Valencia to have the confidence when playing barce

  • 92

    @Edletico well yeah, Mario Suarez can do good as DM, but I think Gabi is more experienced, he is good at closing down opponents, but anyways, and yeah we need to defeat Valencia at all costs.

  • Edletico


    Maybe Gabi then, never really seen him in that posistion. I guess this debate shows that we actually have multiple options this season

  • 92

    @Edletico, without a doubt we have many options, I just wonder who’s gonna be Diego’sub.

  • Edletico

    @92, Koke maybe? or Reyes can play there with Juanfran or Salvio coming in on the wing. Manzano did say he wanted a striker if Forlan left, so if Pizzi isn’t that then we could maybe play 4-4-2 with either Adrian or new signing playing up top with Falcao.
    Shame Forlan left really would of been good for him having Falcao head the ball down for one of his long shots

  • Urban

    Tiago will be Diego’s sub. Midfield should be Mario/Gabi/Diego.

  • Edletico

    Some reports are saying that the buy out clause is 8m euros

  • 92

    @Edletico sorry about the late reply, Koke sounds good as Diego’s sub, but Reyes is more likely to be his sub, the problem is Reyes is gonna play in the right wing as a starter, ofcourse if Diego is substituted and Manzano doesn’t play Koke in Diego’s place, then yeah, Salvio or Juanfran are gonna be on the right wing and Reyes is gonna occupy Diego’s position. Another issue is gonna be that Reyes hasn’t played as creative midfielder for over 2 years, so he may not perform good. About Pizzi, he is listed as a forward, I disagree I think he is more of a winger, but let’s see, let’s not speak too soon.

  • 7th

    no no no, NO MORE 4-4-2 OR 4-4-1-1. I dont like it. very old fashioned.

    I would go with 3-4-3 or 4-3-3 or 3-5-2. and 4-2-3-1/4-3-1-2

    seems we are complete, now manzano put his final plan in action.

    have a great expectaion this season, if not, next year.

  • k14

    Diego fits well in our 4-3-3, I don’t think there is any reason to be concern about the formation.

  • starvs

    Not sure why people are talking about anything other than 4-3-3 when it’s clear that is what Manzano plans to play. He brought Diego in with that in mind…

  • karam

    hello guys , check this story about diego

    From Juventus to Atletico Madrid via Wolfsburg : The Anti-Climactic Journey of Diego Ribas da Cunha

    Two years ago, some days before today’s date, Juventus squared off against AS Roma on a sunlit afternoon in Rome. Juve had made heavy investments in its squad during transfer window and looked all set to regain lost glory under Ciro Ferrara. After an evenly balanced first 24 minutes the deadlock was broken by a piece of individual brilliance. One of Juventus’ new signings – a Brazilian trequartista from Werder Bremen pressurized Marco Casetti and robbed the ball off him near the half line. He then began a blitzing run towards the goal, at the same time holding off John Arne-Risse. A brilliant finish from outside of the right boot gave Juventus a 1-0 lead at the Stadio Olimpico. On 67th minute with the score tied at 1-1 the same Brazilian made it 2-1 after fooling Mexes with a delightful dummy. The verdict was unanimous – Juventus had unearthed a gem, a successor to Zidane. Diego Ribas da Cunha was tipped to be the next superstar for the illustrious Old Lady of Turin.

    Diego in Juventus: Not the Failure he is often made out to be
    Diego had already made a strong impact in Juventus before that virtuoso performance against Roma. He scored on his Juventus debut against Seongnam in a pre-season Peace Cup match. His opening goal was another piece of magic where he rolled the ball casually around the edge of penalty box before letting lose a rasping low drive. He was on target against AC Milan in Trofeo Berlusconi – his fierce shot from outside the penalty box took a slight deflection off Thiago Silva’s boot before beating Marco Storari. Vincenzo Iaquinta scored from his precisely delivered free-kick in Juve’s opening Serie A game against Chievo. During start of the 2009/10 season some Juventus fans were calculating Diego’s chance of winning a Ballon D’Or – very few considered the prospect of him being sold after just one season.

    So what went wrong with Juventus’ marquee signing of 2009-10 season? There were plenty of things that did go wrong but Diego can’t be blamed for all of them.

    Ciro Ferrara used a 4-3-1-2 system initially with Diego playing as a classical trequartista behind two strikers. In such a system two things are highly important – a good passer in three man midfield and mobility of either one of the strikers. Juventus had neither. After selling Christian Zanetti to Fiorentina, Felipe Melo was asked to be a regista and created more problems than chances with his wayward passing. Strikers Vincenzo Iaquinta, Amauri or a half fit David Trezeguet lacked movement both on and off the ball. This resulted in Diego being an isolated figure on the field for long periods of the match. He neither got proper delivery from midfield nor assistance from any of the strikers. He was frequently double marked – rendering him completely useless as Juve’s form dipped dramatically.

    There were flashes of brilliance in between – take the incredible period in late October when Juventus scored 12 goals in three matches. Ferrara finally opted to change his system to a 4-2-3-1 and it had an immediate impact on Juve’s performance. Flanked on two sides by Mauro Camoranesi and Sebastien Giovinco, Diego roared back to form as Juventus thumped second placed Sampdoria 5-1. He looked effective and received plenty of backing from the mobility of Giovinco and Camoranesi’s creativity. Sadly, subsequent injuries meant that this trio didn’t play a single game together again. Another memorable moment from Diego was his strike against Fiorentina which showcased his technique. Following a neat interplay with Del Piero he calmly slotted the opening goal after splendid footwork.

    A change of coach in mid-season brought a change of system as Zaccheroni started using a 3-4-3 or a 4-4-2. The new coach was never able to accommodate Diego properly as the Brazilian looked like a ghost of himself.

    In terms of stats (and just stats) Diego’s debut season in Juventus wasn’t that calamitous. He had 6 goals and 8 assists in 37 starts – compare this with that of Wesley Senijder with 9 goals and 12 assists in 43 starts. Sneijder was easily one of the best players in the world in that period and was also helped by a far superior team around him.

    With Gigi Delneri’s arrival Diego’s position in Juventus came under the scanner. Delneri preferred a 4-4-2/4-2-4 with emphasis on wing play – a system that didn’t have a place for a trequartista. There were talks about using him as a support striker. Instead, Juventus opted to loan in Fabio Quagliarella and sold Diego to Wolfsburg for 15 million Euros with a 10 million depreciation of market value after just one season. Beppe Marotta’s crusade to decrease Juventus’ bloated wage bill was another reason behind Diego’s sale as he was one of the highest paid players in the squad. That performance against Roma still remains one of the finest individual performances from a Juventus player since 2006.

    When In Wolfsburg, do as Felix Magath Says
    2008-09 Bundesliga champions were looking to rebound from a disappointing 8th place finish in 2009/10 season. Arrival of Diego (on a club record transfer fee) paved the way for Bosnian Zvjezdan Misimovic to move to Galatasaray. It was expected that Diego would resurrect his career in a league where he had already succeeded in past. His Wolfsburg debut ended in a thrilling 4-3 loss to Mainz but Diego scored a goal on the 30th minute top put his side up 3-0.

    Wolfsburg employed Steve McClaren after the latter’s history making season with Dutch side FC Twente. In hindsight, employment of McClaren proved to be one of the main reasons behind Wolfburg’s nightmarish season. McClaren preferred a system which was markedly different from the ones used by Wolfsburg till then and the players struggled to adapt.

    After back to back defeats in opening matches Wolfsburg bounced back to form with a hattrick of victories – Diego opened the scoring in a 2-0 win over Hannover while assisting Grafite’s twin strikes against Freidburg. From there on Diego and Wolfburg’s season went downhill steadily. McClaren often experimented with Diego – fielding him in positions he was not fully comfortable in.

    Between October and January, Wolfsburg didn’t win a single match, including a bizarre streak of seven consecutive draws in January. By this time Diego was clearly demotivated and his frustrations boiled over. On 5th February, Wolfsburg travelled to Hannover and was trailing 1-0 with 5 minutes left on the clock when they were awarded a spot kick. Diego insisted to take the kick ahead of first choice specialist Patrick Helmes. He missed the penalty kick and Wolfsburg eventually lost 1-0. Diego was banned for one match by the club as a result.

    Steve McClaren was sacked and Pierre Littbarski was installed as a care taker manager. The new manager based his system on Diego, giving him full freedom. In the new system, Diego excelled in the first game, against basement boys Borussia Monchengladbach. He missed a penalty but scored a brace afterwards to earn a 2-1 victory for Wolfsburg.

    When Felix Magath was announced as new coach, Diego welcomed the move saying, ‘Magath has an impressive track record and is a respected coach. For me personally, the change in coach is good.’ His relation didn’t take long to get cold and the player himself will have to share a lot of blame for antagonizing one of the most successful German gaffers.

    Upon learning that he will be benched for the crunch last match against Hoffenheim, Diego walked out of the team meeting. He didn’t contact team officials afterwards. Felix Magath was irate and threatened legal action against the Brazilian. Franz Beckenbaur had this to say –‘I find it disrespectful to leave the team in such a situation. That is not on; it is a sign of a bad character. I cannot imagine Diego having any kind of future under Magath’. Diego’s actions certainly show him in a poor light as he left his team mates before an all-important battle to stave off relegation.

    After preventing relegation a calmer Felix Magath came out and said that he was willing to work things out with Diego but on his own terms. It was clear that Diego was less likely to see out his contract with Wolfsburg which ends in 2014. In Wolfsburg too Diego’s stats are pretty good – 6 goals and 9 assists in 30 starts.

    A Victim of Circumstances
    At 26, Diego should be looking ahead to the peak of his career but instead has to recover both his form and image. His talent is beyond doubt but his mental state is often fragile. He has also been a victim of circumstances. In last two seasons Diego has played under five different managers, each adopting a different tactical approach. He has joined two clubs which aimed for things their squads were not capable of achieving and ended up losing their ways in mid-season. In both clubs he was the most expensive signing in respective seasons – making him an easy target for criticism.

    His transfer to Atletico Madrid can act as a double edged sword. As a club Atletico has often endured stormy and chaotic seasons in last ten years. This season they have invested heavily, bringing in Radamel Falcao and Arda Turan. Once again Diego will go into a club which expects to do well in coming season but may not have the squad depth to achieve it. On the other hand, the presence of Turan, Falcao, Reyes and a league which favours offensive football can act as the stimulus the Brazilian needs to resurrect his career.

    This will be a make or break season for Diego. One more failure will see him get classified with dozens of Brazilian players who failed to maximize their talents in senior level. A good season can see him sneak into Brazilian national team thanks to Kaka’s fitness problems and Ganso’s ordinary showing in Copa America.

  • 92

    @karam, nice article man, I hope Diego recovers his level and hopefully if he does, he gets called to La Seleccao.

  • starvs

    Great article Karam. Makes me very excited, seems like he has succeeded as reasonably as possible given circumstance. There is the issue of behavior, but Manzano seems like a strong coach, hopefully it works. If not, the risk is mitigated by the fact that it is a loan.

    If he regains his form though…can’t see Atleti not CLing. Falcao, Reyes, Turan, Diego. Goals will be scored.

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  • Russell Buckley

    He will be an astute signing, I guarantee he will be one of the leading assists by the end of the season.

  • DJ_ZA

    Wow. What a busy txfer season…. i’m outta breath.

    Who could have predicted all this. We’ve really had a txfer season filled with the good, the bad and the ugly. Well, without a doubt Kun’s txfer fills the ‘Ugly’ and I’ve got my ideas of who fits into the other categories, but would love to hear yours.

    Regardless, of this, what I’d like to know is what all this cost Atleti. I’ve been trying to do the math and we surely must be in the red. With the money spent on Falcao, Turan + Micael (57 + possible extra 8) cancelling out the 65 received for Kun + De Gea AND Forlan + Elias essentialy going for 0, Ujfalusi was 2 or 3 BUT don’t know what Silvio (rumours of 8) or Adrian cost …. will it all pay off at the end of the season. Guess only time will tell.

    Also, does Atleti’s spending spree leave anything to pay for the behaviour-modification therapy for Reyes (pass the ball bro) & Diego Ribas (any bets on 1st red card)? Lets hope Manzano is also a qualified therapist! (LOL)

    Must admit though, awesome team (on paper). I’m sure it’s gonna be great out the field too.

    PS. Welcome to Atleti, Diego.

  • akr

    DIEGO with no by out close optionmagath has refuse it!!!!!!!and pizzi with a by out close up to 15m

  • Sebyk

    There is evidently no purchase option on Diego’s loan and Atlético is required to pay 100 % of his wage which makes 5 mills euro net per year. Well, it all seemed much better yesterday, this is no big win…

  • Urban

    Relax guys, no buyout clause doesnt mean he wont join for good – maybe there was no time to negotiate it.

    If he adapts good and if he is successful here he might not be interested in going to any other club after this year and he may put pressure on Wolsfburg so they sell him to us. And I guess in VfLW he is done – I cannot imagine Magath accepting him back no matter how good he performs here. For Wolsburg this is also comfortable because they dont have to pay 5 mln of his wages and if he does well they will be able to sell him for a better price after his loan spell.

    So either we will loan him again or we will buy him after this season. If he does well the price might be higher than now, but this is the cost of not taking a risk that he will fail here right now.

    I see here many similarities to the Tiago’s case.

    And if he fails than heh he wont be much of a loss.

  • Urban

    All you diego haters, got some good news for you (prolly).

    The deal has been halted. There is no agreement regarding the fee, although Im not sure whether its the fee for the loan or the buyout clause.

    Anyways its less than 6 hours to fix that, so the chances are slim.

  • Edletico

    @ Urban, the loan window goes on for longer then the transfer one.

    Hopefully we get a buy out clause though as I think he will be amazing this season

  • Urban

    When does it close? What if theres a buyout clause in the loan deal, is it a loan deal or a transfer than?

  • Sebyk

    The transfer is getting complicated and there has been reports that the operation got cancelled by Wolfsburg. Thus probably no Diego to Atletico :/

  • Sebyk

    So it finally sorted itself out and everything should be okay. Diego on his way in…

  • Urban

    He is supposed to arrive in Madrid tomorrow.

  • karam

    i read this report :

    Wolfsburg have announced on their website they have loaned out midfielder Diego to Atletico Madrid.

    The Brazilian playmaker has agreed to a season-long loan switch to the Spanish capital side just one year after arriving at Wolfsburg from Juventus.

    Diego, who cost the club €15.5 million, endured a frustrating campaign at the Volkswagen Arena and became surplus to requirements at the club after a spat with coach Felix Magath.

    “I am convinced that Diego will play a prominent role at Atletico. I wish him well,” Magath told Wolfsburg’s website.

    Wolfsburg did not make any mention of the fee they received to let Diego leave on a temporary basis, but a report in AS on Tuesday claimed Atletico would shell out €3m to sign the player on loan, with a €7m buying option included in the deal.

  • Chak

    Well balanced squad! Enough to qualify for champions league and beat Real this season

  • karam

    auuuuuuuuuupa atleti

    this is the strongest team we had in yeeeeaaars with good subtitute !!!! finaly 🙂

    i hope that we can do a great things ..

    and for me personaly ” i supported atleti cuz of caminero in 94 and once again he prove to me that he is a good player and manager ” 🙂

    good luck for us this season and now the begginings of the hard work guys …

  • Urban

    As made a nice analysis of our squad and the subs


    Silvio/Perea – GOdin/Miranda – Dominguez/Pulido – Fil/AL

    Mario/ Assuncao – Gabi/Koke -Tiago/Diego

    Reyes/Salvio Falcao/Pizzi/Adrian Arda/Juanfran

    Looking good, huh?

  • oguz

    Atletico has powerfull squad
    this year!!!!





    Look at that team!!! <3 With nice subs!!!

  • Javi

    DJ_ZA we just earned 7€million by reaching EL group stage
    So the investments are paying off
    In addition ticket and shirt sales should increase
    So unless the team really bombs they will nake money

    For me regardless of whether we enter CL or not-although I think we can- I want to beat RM and Barsa this year

  • norman

    hi pepole 🙂

    —falcao transfer has arrived and he can play next game.
    —no one knows for sure if there is a buy out clause for diego or not,tomorrow i will inform you about that.
    —the idea of manzano is to play 4-2-3-1 or the 4-3-3 which is the dream of his life 🙂 at least that,s what he said on a radio interview 3-4 days ago.
    forza atleti siempre.

  • Urban

    He has all the materials needed. Indivudual skills of the players are undoubted. Now its all on Manzanos shoulders to make a team out of all those great individualists (Arda, who is used to be a leader- he was a captain in gala and in turkish team, Diego, who is a prima balerina, selfish reyes and falcao who is a typical poacher). Hard task, but results may be amazing.

  • Edletico

    anyone know what has happened with Julio Alves?

  • Ringo

    He is sold to Besiktas, it seems, in a weird structure.

  • ali_

    i guess bruno alves told to mendes that his bro wants to play in a bigger club…

  • Urban

    Any chance to get a link for tonights game?

  • jörmungandr

    I am a Turkish Galatasaray fan and I am an Atletico supporter in Spain. I want to tell that Reyes-Diego-Arda looks good on paper but I have doubts about it.

    Reyes clearly looks like the leader of the team and can get a little bit selfish sometimes. He plays with the ball more than an average player.

    Diego is a center attacking midfielder so he will want to play with the ball as well and organize things.

    Arda isn’t a typical winger,his main qualities are his technique,passing,dribbling,strength. I can say that he is a playmaker that plays on the left just like Reyes is on the right wing. In his first match he didn’t play with the ball and tried to play more like a team player but he will want hold on to the ball and will try to organize things in the coming weeks.

    So 3 players of the same type will be playing next to each other. I hope they don’t fight each other for the ball 🙂 But of course I hope I will be proved wrong and they can show all their abilities.

  • Ringo Schut

    Yeah, that’s a concern, indeed.
    But all they need is to trust eachother, if they won’t want the ball TOO much, it could work, hopefully they can all act like adults. I give them a chance, for now, and otherwise, replace Reyes for Salvio, or something and try that 🙂