“Me the enemy of the Atlantic? That is a very ugly word”
Simeone vs Zidane, more love than hate
In Trujillo, noble town of Extremadura, they still remember the pilgrimage of May 2014 in their bars. Thousands of Real Madrid and Atletico fans passed by cars and buses excited to Lisbon, where they waited for the end of the Champions. Some of the nerves even lost the coveted entry into a service area. The return, at dawn on Saturday and throughout Sunday, was different; with exhausted faces of joy and others with a dislike of first.
Few of them can imagine that from that historic party a series of new revenges will emerge, many of them also in international venues and all of them always leaving deep marks to winners and losers. None, it is true, then reached the limits of what happened in the stadium of light, with a movie ending, but I know they all had their hard hangover. Tonight's in Jeddah, behind the Spanish Super Cup, it is also felt annoying, because the defeat before the neighbor is always more bitter.
It still hurts to think about it, he said David Villa later, athletic striker in Lisbon. l, stumbled by exhaustion, provoked one of the most famous crners in the history of football. They confessed later on the red-and-white shore that some players were all that summer reviewing the match with CSI magnifying glass in the search for small details that would have avoided the fatal corner kick that turned Sergio Ramos in hero of the Tenth White European Cup.
The change wasted in Diego Costa, some clearer clearance in those last moments of agony, a lack in the center of the field to lose time, that lost race … In Madrid, in the opposite direction, they also collected after miguitas de gloria Heading for that tight header. The fight (little valued after) of now rojiblanco Morata in his few minutes on the grass, Marcelo's great game, the determination of Isco – both substitutes – and the previous message of Florentino Prez to the Andalusian defender: I put all my trust in you. That one of the president's blows in the box also remained in the books, for being the second time in his years in the position he held effusively, standing, a goal. The previous one had been after one of Karim Benzema in his native Lyon.
In search of revenge
The Atlantic will take four years to adjust part of the accounts, taking the European Super Cup. Before that, he had to go through the hard trance of losing another Champions to his hated rival. It happened in Milan and in the penalty shootout, a random destination where it landed after failing Griezmann a maximum penalty and lack of daring to Simeone to throw his men for a grogui Madrid for the tie of Carrasco. His responsibility in the second each before the whites atorment the Argentine technician in the following days, seriously considering his resignation. In vilo he had his parish. Nothing to do with Lisbon, from where despite the cruel blow I came out reinforced thanks to the title of the League won that season and the promise of blood to his people to soon raise a European Cup s or s. And if it was against Madrid, better.
Simeone did not leave and fate placed him in Estonia, years later, a new international derby to finally give his unconditional people a joy. Along the way, another unpleasant drink against the whites, also in European competition: the elimination in the semifinals of the 2017 Champions League. In domestic tournaments, there was his Atletico beaten at Madrid, with a tasty Copa del Rey (2013) in the Bernabu, a Super Cup of Spain (2014) and several dominated league clashes. The win that endorsed Carlo Ancelotti (4-0, February 2015) almost cost him the Italian dismissal.
But it wasn't until August 2018 when the rojiblancos sang triumph in a derby abroad, in a final. They did it in Tallinn, a city that welcomed the pulse between the champions that year of the Champions League and the Europa League, in another flash of Madrid's power in the continental football of recent times. Never have two clubs in the same city carried their rivalry so many times and so high. Milan and Inter crossed at the beginning of the century in the Champions League, but not by the title. In that European Super Cup, traced by the Atlantic in the last minutes, and with a final win (4-2), a turbulence trip began for Real Madrid.
From Tallinn to the United States
From Estonia Julen Lopetegui returned already in question, with little travel on the bench. I left after being beaten at the Camp Nou. Then Santiago Solari arrived without being able to redirect a changing and nostalgic wardrobe of Cristiano Ronaldo. Until Zidane returned, which took months to reactivate the machines. In fact, it will be up to the French to deal with a fierce Atletico cornada, in the last preseason.
Rarely does a friendly cause so much damage to whites. In the first derby in the United States, the men of Simeone took advantage of the dismissal of their rival, more pending in the previous hours of shopping in the Big Apple. With Diego Costa In front, the attics enjoyed, even on an unofficial date, skinning Madrid, which even ended up with a better score than expected as things went in the field. New Jersey 7-3 is still not forgotten in Zidane's locker room or club, because of the blush he caused.
Tonight, some and others keep recent motivations to fight for the victory, beyond the traditional capital rivalry, shot to the maximum by the confrontations of the last years. Your public enemy number one? I don't like the word enemy, confess Sergio Ramos yesterday. In his head and in the insufficient stretch of Courtois, today his companion, it all started.
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