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Atletico Madrid president talks Griezmann, Morata, De Paul, lack of centre-back signings



Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images

Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo spoke to the media earlier today ahead of the team’s UEFA Champions League encounter against Club Brugge at the Jan Breydel Stadium in Belgium.

The Rojiblancos supremo insisted that it is extremely important that the club win the game tonight, having lost their last Champions League encounter against Bayer Leverkusen prior to the international break.

As quoted by AS, he said: “Unquestionably we have to win, because if we don’t we will be annoyed to go through to the Round of 16. We have hope, the team are happy, and they are fine. They already showed in Seville that they play well, that they want to win.”

Diego Simeone switched the formation of the team to a 4-4-2 in the last game against Sevilla which Atletico won. When quizzed if that setup suited them better, Cerezo replied:

“The team played well and were able to score more goals, they played a great game and that’s what matters and what people like.”

There has been a lot of criticism directed towards Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodrigo De Paul after he missed the Sevilla game due to personal reasons and was spotted in Miami afterwards. He is back now and has been included in the squad for the Club Brugge encounter.

When asked for his thoughts on the matter, Cerezo said: “I say it very clearly, it is an issue between De Paul and us. That’s all.”

On being asked if the Argentine midfielder had received permission from Atletico Madrid for his absence, Cerezo reiterated his earlier reply, saying:

“It is an issue between him and us. What happens outside of here is of no interest to anyone except the club and him. The rest is clear. Let everyone think what they want…”

The Colchoneros president also talked about Alvaro Morata and his turnaround of fortunes as the Spaniard could have left the club in the summer but is now proving to be a key performer.

“In Morata he has always believed and that is why he is with us. What happens is that in the circumstances of the world of football, these things happen many times. You (media) also change jobs,” Cerezo exclaimed.

The Atletico Madrid president also talked about Antoine Griezmann’s current game-time situation, with Simeone only using him after the 60th minute to avoid paying Barcelona the full €40 million permanent purchase clause.

While there have been reports of negotiations going on between the two clubs, Cerezo said that there had been no change with regard to the Frenchman’s playing time.

“Regarding Griezmann, life goes on the same. Let’s hope he plays after 60′. In the world of football, negotiations are always taking place,” he said.

There have been a lot of questions regarding Atletico Madrid’s recruitment this summer, with fans especially displeased with the lack of investment in the centre-back department. When put that question forward by a journalist, Cerezo said:

“If they don’t understand it, how can I understand it? We have a complete team, maybe what you say is true, but our technicians still think it’s not.”

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Atletico Madrid News

Ancelotti talks Courtois, Militao, Bellingham, VAR controversies ahead of Las Palmas vs Real Madrid



Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Coming off a highly controversial game against Almeria, Real Madrid will now travel to Gran Canaria to take on Las Palmas tomorrow as part of the early kick-off.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke about the clash tomorrow, starting off by confirming his goalkeeper for tomorrow, “Lunin will start tomorrow.”

He also added that Madrid were looking to get back to their usual level after back-to-back poor performances, one of which included elimination against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey round of 16.

“We are motivated to return to our best level after 2 bad games.”

The Italian gaffer also commented on the biggest football story in the world today, which was Jurgen Klopp announcing his decision to leave Liverpool at the end of the season.

“It’s quite surprising, I understand. Working for a long time with the same club and players lowers your motivation a bit. He’s doing a fantastic job at Liverpool.”

And of course, Ancelotti also spoke about the leaked VAR audiovisual, some of which are highly controversial for all parties involved. Barcelona coach and players have also commented on the same, in light of the Negreira case.

“They have talked a lot. Everyone knows what has happened in the last 20 years in Spanish football. The Civil Guard is carrying out an investigations. That is the real problem of Spanish football.”

Luckily for the manager and fans, all injured players — minus the ACL trio of David Alaba, Eder Militao, and Thibaut Courtois — are available. Jude Bellingham is suspended, however.

“Everyone is available now after the recent period of injuries.”

“Making up for Bellingham’s absence tomorrow? Brahim and Joselu are available options. They were able to show themselves after I relied on them as substitutes,” he added.

And as far as Militao and Courtois are concerned, both of whom tore their ACL early in the season, Ancelotti suggested that they could make their return before the season ends.

“Courtois and Militão both have the option to play this season. The recovery process is going very well, they are training on an individual level. It is February and these types of injuries last 6-8 months, so I think they will recover before the end of the season.”

Source: Mundo Deportivo

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