Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Joel has moved to Rayo Vallecano on loan, while Fran Merida returns to the Rojiblancos.
SC Braga have confirmed on their official website that they have signed Atlético midfielder Fran Mérida on loan for one year. “Fran Mérida will play at SC Braga this season,” reads the Portuguese side’s announcement before boldly claiming Fran “is one of the most promising players in Spanish football.”
Atlético captain Antonio Lopez will miss at least two weeks of action after suffering a right knee sprain during Sunday’s clash in Pamplona. The veteran left-back underwent an MRI Tuesday afternoon that confirmed he sustained a grade I-II MCL sprain. Reports in the Spanish media suggest ‘El Capi’ could even be out for up to four weeks.
Diego Forlán has had little rest this international break, playing the full 90 minutes in both games for Uruguay against Estonia and the Republic of Ireland. Luis Perea had to come on and play for Colombia, whilst David de Gea and Álvaro Domínguez also played the full 90 minutes for Spain U21s.
Luis Perea, Fran Mérida, Joel and Diego Forlán were all in action for their countries this week as La Liga pauses for the international break. We round up this week’s action, with Atlético players representing their nation’s colours across all levels.
Atlético striker Diego Forlán could be set to miss the match against Sevilla this weekend after spraining his left ankle in training yesterday, reports Atleti’s official site. The Uruguayan picked up the knock attempting to get past Juan Valera in a practise drill. The injury is described as a minor one, so there’s a chance that he may recover in time for the upcoming clash.
Atlético could have received a whopping €109m this past month. Apparently Atleti rejected offers for five of their star players in January, with some of the proposals coming in on the last day of the transfer window. Kun, Forlán, Godín, De Gea and even Mérida were all coveted by clubs throughout Europe, but will stay home at least until the summer.
Atlético finally got their first win of 2011 after five tries to close out the halfway point in sixth place, besting their point total from a year ago by seven. Manager Quique Sanchez Flores shook up the line-up ahead of the clash following a set of sub-par performances by his squad and the untimely injury to Sergio Agüero.
Fran Mérida arrived at Atlético in the summer, confirming January rumours of a verbal agreement to sign with los Colchoneros. The signing of the Barcelona youth product, who was once billed as Cesc Fabregas’ successor, inspired a lot of optimism among the Atleti fan base but he still has a lot to prove.
It was slippery, it was ice cold and it was, quite literally, unwatchable. Atlético took on a snow storm and hosts Bayer Leverkusen tonight, hoping to qualify for the next round of the Europa League. But a 1-1 draw in the BayArena and a 2-0 win for Aris meant that the reigning champions finish third in Group B and are knocked out in the first round of the cup competition.