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29-year-old striker set to continue at Atletico Madrid after winning over Simeone

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Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images

After a two-year long loan stint at Juventus, Alvaro Morata returned to Atletico Madrid earlier this summer. His arrival was considered only an intermediate step before his seemingly imminent departure from the club.

However, the tables have now turned. According to reports from Cadena SER, the striker’s attitude has convinced both Diego Simeone and the dressing room.

The manager now trusts the player so much that he is ready to give Morata a starting spot in the team for the league opener at the weekend.

The 29-year-old first moved to Wanda Metropolitano on loan from Chelsea in the 2019-20 season. After his seemingly successful stint in Spain, Atletico made his move permanent in the summer of 2020.

Since then, however, Morata has not donned the red-and-white colours. He was immediately sent on a two-season long loan to Italy, where he shone under Massimiliano Allegri

The Spaniard’s sudden departure from the club was later revealed to be because of a rift between him and Diego Simeone. However, they duo seem to have buried the hatchet now.

With the differences between the player and manager settled, Los Rojiblancos need not look far to find their striker for the upcoming season. While Matheus Cunha is indeed a viable option, Morata’s experience could be enough to warrant a starting spot.

Last season, the striker scored nine goals and provided seven assists in 35 Serie A appearances. He scored a further two goals in the UEFA Champions League and one in the Coppa Italia.

The Nerazzurri were interested in loaning Morata for one more season, but Atletico Madrid have maintained that they count on the player and do not intend to sell him this summer.

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Atletico Madrid News

Atletico Madrid midfielder on the derby against Real Madrid: “Very difficult to beat them”

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Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

Following a 1-1 draw in their Champions League opener against Lazio, Atletico Madrid will shift all their attention to La Liga, as they brace themselves for the derby against Real Madrid this weekend.

Heading into this game, Atleti midfielder Marcos Llorente spoke about Real Madrid’s quality and Atletico Madrid’s chances of squeezing all three points from this iconic derby.

Llorente on Madrid derby

“The sensations are good. The team is very good, the other day we played a great game despite ending up drawing. I really think that the team did a great job that must be maintained for this match,” Llorente said in an interview with Diario AS.

When asked whether or not Real Madrid being tagged as favourites could aid Atleti, the midfielder said, “Honestly, it neither motivates me nor demotivates me. We simply have to do what we work on during the week, what the coach asks of us.”

Llorente stressed the importance of the game, adding, “It is a great rival we have in front of us, they are having a very good start to the season and that motivates me and everyone to try to play a good game.”

Real Madrid is a great club, they have great players and it is very difficult to beat them. I think we have competed, we have also achieved several draws, but in the end, either you go out one hundred percent and do things very, very well or it is difficult to beat them,” he added.

A former member of the Real Madrid youth academy, Llorente joined Atletico Madrid in 2019. Since then, he has racked up over 150 competitive appearances for Los Colchoneros.

Llorente, though, said he feels no sense of vindication when he performs well against his former team.

“No. In the end, it’s been many years since I left there and I’m at Atlético. Perhaps in the first years, those types of feelings and sensations can arise, but today they no longer do,” he said.

Marcos Llorente confident of Atletico Madrid’s chances ahead of the derby (Photo by FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images)

Llorente on Vinicius, Koke & Bellingham

The Atletico Madrid star went on to talk about other aspects of the game, including the fact that his team had one less player every time they faced Real Madrid last season.

“I have zero worries. These are things that are not in our remit, that escape our hands. We play football, the referees referee and those who have to decide decide,” he said.

Llorente, in fact, said that the return of Koke could be a real boost for Atleti. “It is always good that Koke is with us, both on the field and in the day-to-day life of the game,” he said.

“Beyond the grass. The support he gives, the advice he gives us, his experience. it is always important to have him and it is great news that he is already training with us,” he added.

Talking about the absence of Vinicius Junior and the form of Jude Bellingham, Llorente said, “Well, you have to be careful with everyone. All Real Madrid players are very good and can make a difference at any moment of the game. Bellingham is having a great start and we have to take that into account and be very focused.”

Finally, Marcos Llorente put out a message for all the Atletico Madrid fans, claiming their support ahead of this crucial encounter this weekend.

“It will be a full house as always. We don’t have to tell them anything, they know the importance of this match for Atlético, we know that they never fail, they are always supporting us and we count on them,” he said.

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