Seven days ago Atlético was licking their lips with the calm sea and a sweet feeling of well-being that made them qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League, the victory in San Sebastián against Real Sociedad and the leadership of the League. A week later, a few hours before playing against Getafe (7.15pm), reality agrees with Simeone – “football is 24 hours a day, you can’t sleep, someone is always awake,” he said yesterday – and, above all, the president of the club. “Players play where they want to play,” Enrique Cerezo repeats in one of his luckiest phrases, perhaps the only really brilliant one. Diego Costa leaves Atlético because the substitution against Luis Suárez has blocked his way; and Kieran Trippier, the only untouchable footballer for Cholo this year due to the absence of a substitute, misses ten weeks (14 official matches) due to his bad head with betting. Two casualties in winter that force Atlético to sign and that have to do with the whims of the owners of the roost, the footballers.
Players of the 21st century act as Diego Costa has. A contract with one figure is guaranteed for a few years, an official cache, and from there they do not move even if it rains stones and their performance has nothing to do with their file. Costa returned to Atlético from Chelsea as the bearer of mana, the striker who would repeat 30 goals per season, the perfect complement for Griezmann. Ten million a year made him the highest paid on the roster. And that continued to enter despite his loss of prominence and, above all, the lack of goals. Only Oblak now charges more than him.
But following the maxim that Cerezo usually expresses, Diego Costa has tired of the substitution with his mentor Simeone and wanted to leave Atlético free and without conditions, doing a Luis Suárez when leaving Barça. The club has been planted and imposes a clause (it is estimated at 15 million) if he signs for any of the teams that play the Champions League: Barcelona, Real Madrid and Seville.
Simeone referred to the issue with kind words, which do not hide the negotiation that yesterday ended with the settlement. «It was what Diego was looking for, and the club wanted to help him but without being harmed». The mattress coach celebrated the friendly goodbye “so that he can greet each other and hug each other when we see each other in the future. And may we both have good memories.
Costa’s “personal problems” seemed to have another name, Luis Suárez, who according to Simeone, has led to a change of style in the team towards a more combinative game. The range of candidates to fill the gap in Costa is now open. Milik, Raúl de Tomas, Loren, Bakambú, Maxi Gómez … Atlético owns another “9” that could serve the cause, Saponjic, but that is another mystery.
Incomprehensible is the love of millionaire footballers to gambling. For this reason, the English federation launched an investigation into Kieran Trippier who has ended with a ten week sanction and a 75,000 euro fine. Trippier is accused of having bet, through close people, that he would sign for Atlético in the summer of 2019.
According to the English media, the investigations began more than half a year ago and the full-back committed seven alleged infractions of the rule that prohibits anyone within football from transmitting information it is not publicly available for others to use for gambling. “It’s unfair, it hurts Atlético,” Simeone lamented yesterday. However, Trippier no longer played for England against Denmark in the Nations League in October because his case was under investigation.