Rarely a match has changed both the life of a footballer and Anfield's for Marcos Llorente. The '14', who by then was already accumulating minutes as a right inside, replaced Diego Costa at 56 minutes with 1-0 score against that he would not move and would compel the extension to settle the winner between Liverpool and Atlético. When everything turned upside down for the English team, with 2-0 that classified them for the rooms, emerged the figure colossal of Llorente to turn around to the omelette with a doublet that classified the rojiblancos, putting the lace with his assistance for him Morata's goal which ended the comeback (2-3).

Athletic Shield / Flag

But in full euphoria for eliminating the current champion of the Champions League (who has spent three years without losing in his league stadium), the competition put a stop to the health crisis of the coronavirus. What could be a setback for the moral of Llorente, became all a learning to adapt to the forward position. Three months and three days without competing in an official match, but following a personalized and agreed plan with Simeone to start thinking like a player living near the rival area, studying his movements, unchecking and hitting after a professional career as a pivot. Combined with a extraordinary physical condition, perhaps the best in LaLiga, Llorente returned like a shot.

If it was for everyone a surprise see the '14' return from the break exercising as a striker in the first training sessions of the mini-season, helped by the injuries of João Félix and Correa, he turned in all a reality in San Mamés, where was the companion of Costa in tip. A game where he already started to leave good details in the back and in the race when he could take advantage of the meters behind the back, skilfully falling to the right profile. But I would raise the bet on the following day, entering the minute 63 to obtain one goal and two assists against Osasuna. Since then he has been accumulating minutes and titles.

Despite the concentration of parties, Llorente has started seven of Atlético's last nine league games, where he got the mathematical classification for the Champions, in most of them acting as Forward, although going to the right and even to the double pivot when necessary. A penalty provoked against Alavés, the pass of death which ended in a goal of its own Levante, a center for Morata I just had to push her against Mallorca and the goal that opened the score against Getafe, in an action of center forward controlling, turning and hitting at the near post, they increased their statistics (curiously, he has scored his five goals of the course as a visitor). But beyond thatleft a full physical sensationto become a practically unstoppable player for the rival defense.

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Marcos Llorente celebrates one of his goals against Liverpool.

Its value has multiplied

Simeone explained it after the game against Levante, noting that “after so much effort he did, always training well, without protesting or having a bad predisposition after being left out a lot of times, in the end the people who work always have an award“Something that the data reflects, since before the break I had disputed 723 minutes in League, 30.9% of the minutes that had been available (2,340 ', since he had only been left out of the call against Celta by technical decision). Now, as a great protagonist of the team, he adds 642 of the 990 possible, 64.8% of the minutes despite playing every three days.

In a year of transition for Atlético, Llorente has lived his own, from a complement in the midfield to an imbalance in the front. A performance that does not go unnoticed, since Transfermarkt It has multiplied its value from 16 million to 40 despite the economic crisis that plagues football. A growth based on work, effort, dedication and the confidence of Cholo, who saw in Llorente the complement he lacked in the lead.