For those of you Colchoneros still alive to read this, let’s revisit Atlético’s agonising 1-1 tie versus Málaga. How close were Diego Simeone’s men from achieving eternal glory on Sunday? A Willy Caballero fingernail close.
Atletico Madrid go into Wednesday night’s match with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge knowing that a single goal could be enough to take them to their first top-tier European Cup final in 40 years. The second leg of the semi-final kicks off at 20:45 CET at Stamford Bridge, which has been something of a fortress in recent seasons for Jose Mourinho and his men.
‘Ya caerá el Atleti’ (Now Atleti will fall) is a phrase that has been used repeatedly this season, as surely it was only a matter of time. In this two-team league of ours, nobody thought unfancied Atlético would make it to May as league leaders. Sooner or later they would slip and hand the momentum back to Real Madrid and Barcelona, before slowly fading away… Or maybe not.
It has only been one day since Atlético departed Colombia, but AS reports on Thursday that los Rojiblancos will visit the Americas a second time this summer, with stops said to be planned in Miami (USA), Costa Rica and Venezuela. After raking in €1.2 million from their trio of friendlies in the land of Carlos
Menaced all evening long by Villarreal torpedoes Rossi, Nilmar and Cazorla and by the incompetent officiating of Ramírez Domínguez, Atlético was defeated 0-2 at the Madrigal. Atlético had the chance of entering the coveted top four spots if they could only manage to snatch a victory away from their direct rivals tonight. Instead, Atleti stumbled all the way down to eighth place with the loss.
Atlético aims to spoil Valencia’s perfect start to the 2010-11 campaign when the two sides meet at the Mestalla on Wednesday. Our fourth round la Liga match kicks off at 22:00 CET, but without Ujfalusi, Tiago and Sergio Agüero. Atleti will fight to avoid slumping to a three-game losing streak after our successive defeats to Aris and Barcelona last week, whilst Valencia will be looking to make it four wins in four games and stay top of the league for at least a few more days.
The Tiago saga appears to be nearing its conclusion, as we have formalised the €4.5m deal with Juventus for the transfer of the midfielder. If the Portuguese national finally decides to leave Turin, it will only be to play for Atlético. Juve officials have informed the player that he is not in their plans for the upcoming campaign. Tiago must now either take a pay-cut and sign for Atlético, or watch the coming Serie A season from the stands.