Atletico Madrid defender Stefan Savic has picked up a thigh injury during the game against Villarreal this past weekend, the club have officially confirmed.
Atletico suffered a disappointing 0-2 defeat to Villarreal at the Civitas Metropolitano in La Liga on Sunday. Second-half goals from Yeremi Pino and Gerard Moreno condemned Diego Simeone’s side to a loss.
The game made headlines due to the confrontation between a set of Atleti fans and defender Mario Hermoso, who was at the receiving end of a barrage of insults, which led to the incident.
While investigations are being carried out into that matter, Atletico have now issued an update on Savic’s situation, confirming that the senior centre-back has suffered a thigh injury, although no specific timeline for his recovery has been provided.
Savic had to be taken off 76 minutes into the contest against Villarreal, with Jose Maria Gimenez taking his place for the final quarter-hour of the game.
It was initially believed that the 31-year-old had felt discomfort, leading to the substitutions. But tests have revealed that Savic is carrying a thigh injury, which was confirmed by the club’s statement as follows:
“The Montenegrin defender has undergone medical tests at the Navarra University Clinic, the result of which has ruled that he suffers from a thigh injury. Our player will begin to receive physiotherapy sessions, readaptation training and is awaiting evolution.”
Atletico face Valencia up next a week from today and it remains to be seen if Savic is declared fit by that time. However, Los Rojiblancos will likely have to make do without new signing Nahuel Molina for that encounter after he was sent off against Villarreal.
Atletico Madrid midfielder on the derby against Real Madrid: “Very difficult to beat them”
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.
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.