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Atlético de Madrid

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Atlético de Madrid

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Jue Abr 02, 2009 4:16 pm

Club Atlético de Madrid (known in English as Atlético Madrid, Atletico Madrid or simply Atleti.) is a Spanish football club based in Madrid who play in the Primera División of La Liga. Their home stadium is the Vicente Calderón Stadium, which currently holds up to 55,000 spectators. The club is one of the most successful in Spanish League history, having won both La Liga and the Copa del Rey on nine occasions, including a double in 1996. They also won the European Cup Winners Cup in 1962 and were European Cup runners-up and Intercontinental Cup winners in 1974.
During their history, the club have been known by a number of nicknames including Los Colchoneros or The Mattress Makers due to their first team stripes being the same colours as old-fashioned mattresses. During the 1970s they became known as Los Indios. This was allegedly due to the club signing several South American players after the restrictions on signing foreign players was lifted. However there are a number of counter theories which claim they were so named because their stadium is camped on the river bank or because Los Indios were the traditional enemy of Los Blancos —the whites. The latter nickname refers to the club's city rival Real Madrid.

History


Club Atletico de Madrid S.A.D.

The Club was founded on 9 October 1939. A previous club was originally founded on 26 April 1903 as Athletic Club de Madrid by three Basque students living in Madrid. The founders saw the new club as a branch of Athletic Bilbao. In 1904 they were joined by dissident members of Real Madrid. They began playing in blue and white, as did Athletic Bilbao, but by 1911 they were playing in their current colours. The reason the club changed colours is not known for certain. However one theory is that red and white striped tops were the cheapest stripes to make because the same combination was used to make bed mattresses. The left over cloth was easily converted into football shirts. Although both Athletic Bilbao and Athletic Madrid started out with blue and white stripes, the discovery of a cheaper option probably persuaded them to change. The Madrid club did it first and they became known as los colchoneros—the mattress makers. Other more plausible account of the reason to change colours is that both Athletic Bilbao and Athletic Madrid used to buy Blackburn Rovers blue and white kits in England. Once in 1911 Juanito Elorduy, former player and member of the board of Athletic Madrid, went to England to buy kits for both teams. He did not find Blackburn Rovers kits and bought Sunderland red and white ones instead. Athletic Bilbao adopted Southampton full kit with red and white shirt and black shorts, whereas Athletic Madrid adopted the red and white shirt but kept Blackburn Rovers blue shorts.
First Atletico's ground, 'Ronda de Vallecas', was situated in the homonym working-class area south of the city. In 1919, the Compañía Urbanizadora Metropolitana—the company that ran the underground communication system in Madrid—acquired some land, near the Ciudad Universitaria. As part of that project the company built a sports stadium, named Estadio Metropolitano de Madrid. With a capacity for 35.800 spectators, in 1923 it was rented by Atlético de Madrid, which used it until 1966 when they moved to the new Estadio Vicente Calderón. After the move, the Metropolitano was demolished, being replaced with university buildings.
In 1921 Athletic Madrid became independent of Athletic Bilbao and by 1923, the club built its first stadium, the Metropolitano. During the 1920s Athletic won the Campeonato del Centro three times and in 1921 and 1926 they were Copa del Rey runners-up. Based on this record, they were invited to join the Primera División of the inaugural La Liga in 1928. During their debut La Liga season the club were managed by Fred Pentland. However in 1930 they were relegated to Segunda División. They briefly returned to the Primera División in 1934, again with Pentland in charge. The club were relegated again in 1936 after Josep Samitier took over in mid-season from Pentland. However the Spanish Civil War gave the club a reprieve (because Real Oviedo was unable to play due to the destruction of their stadium during the bombings) and both La Liga and Athletic's relegation were postponed, the latter by winning a playoff against Osasuna (champion of the last played Segunda División tournament).

Athletic Aviación de Madrid

By 1939, when La Liga had resumed, Athletic had merged with Aviación Nacional of Zaragoza to become Athletic Aviación de Madrid. Aviación Nacional had been founded in 1939 by members of the Spanish Air Force. They had been promised a place in the Primera División for the 1939–40 season, only to be denied by the RFEF. As a compromise this club merged with Athletic, whose squad had lost eight players in the Spanish Civil War. The team were awarded a place in the 1939–40 Primera División only as a replacement for Real Oviedo whose ground had been damaged during the war. With the legendary Ricardo Zamora as manager, the club subsequently won their first La Liga in 1940 and then retained the title in 1941.
In 1941 a decree issued by Franco banned teams from using foreign names and the club became Atlético Aviacion de Madrid. In 1947 the club decided to drop the military association from its name and settled on its current name Club Atlético de Madrid. The same year saw Atlético beat Real Madrid 5–0 at the Metropolitano, to date their biggest win over their cross-town rivals. Jaime Munos played and was embarassing and pathethic and had to join the USMC.

The Golden Age

Under Helenio Herrera and with the help of Larbi Benbarek, Atlético won La Liga again in 1950 and 1951. With the departure of Herrera in 1953, the club began to slip behind Real Madrid and Barcelona and for the remainder of the 1950s they were left to battle it out with Atlético Bilbao for the title of third team in Spain.
However during the 1960s and 1970s, Atlético Madrid seriously challenged Barcelona for the position of second team. The 1957–58 season saw Fernando Daucik take charge of Atlético and he led them to second place in La Liga. This resulted in Atlético qualifying for the 1958–59 seasons European Cup since the winners, Real Madrid were the reigning European champions. Inspired by Brazilian centre-forward Vavá and Enrique Collar, Atlético reached the semi-finals after beating Drumcondra, CSKA Sofia and Schalke 04. In the semi-finals they met Real Madrid. Real won the first leg 2–1 at the Bernabéu while Atlético won 1–0 at the Metropolitano. The tie went to a replay and Real won 2–1 in Zaragoza.
Atlético, however, gained their revenge when, led by former Real coach José Villalonga, they defeated Real in two successive Copa del Generalísimo finals in 1960 and 1961. In 1962 they won the European Cup Winners Cup beating Fiorentina 3–0 after a replay. In 1963 they reached the final of the same competition again, this time losing 5–1 to Tottenham Hotspur. Enrique Collar, who continued to be an influential player during this era, was now joined by the likes of midfielder Miguel Jones and midfield playmaker Adelardo.
Unfortunately for Atlético fans their best years coincided with a great Real Madrid team. Between 1961 and 1980, Real Madrid dominated La Liga with the club winning the competition 14 times. During this era only Atlético offered Real any serious challenge, winning La Liga titles in 1966, 1970, 1973 and 1977. They were also runners-up in 1961, 1963 and 1965 and won the Copa del Generalísimo again in 1965, 1972 and 1976. In 1965, when they finished as La Liga runners-up to Real after an intense battle for the title, Atlético became the first team to beat Real at the Bernabéu in eight years.

European Cup Finalists

Significant players from this era included the now veteran Adelardo and regular goalscorers Luis Aragonés, Javier Irureta and José Eulogio Gárate. The latter won the Pichichi three times in 1969, 1970 and 1971. In the 1970s Atlético also recruited several Argentine employees, signing Rubén Ayala, Panadero Díaz and Ramón "Cacho" Heredia, as well as coach Juan Carlos Lorenzo. Lorenzo believed in discipline, caution and disrupting the opponents’ game. Although controversial, his methods proved successful and after winning La Liga in 1973, the club reached the European Cup final in 1974. On the way to the final Atlético knocked out Galatasaray, Dinamo Bucureşti, Red Star Belgrade and Celtic. In the away leg of the semi-final against Celtic, Atlético had Ayala, Díaz and substitute Quique all sent off during a hard fought encounter in what was reported as one of the worse cases of cynical fouling the tournament has seen. Because of this cynicism they managed a 0–0 draw, which was followed by a 2–0 victory in the return leg with goals from Gárate and Adelardo. However the final at the Heysel Stadium proved to be a heartbreaker for Atlético. Against a Bayern Munich team that included Franz Beckenbauer, Sepp Maier, Paul Breitner, Uli Hoeneß and Gerd Müller, Atlético played above themselves. Despite missing Ayala, Díaz and Quique through suspension, they went ahead in extra-time with only seven minutes left. Aragonés scored with a superb, curling free-kick that looked like the winner. However in the last minute of the game Bayern defender Georg Schwarzenbeck equalized with a stunning 25 yarder that left the Atlético goalkeeper Miguel Reina motionless. In a replay, back in the Heysel, two days later Bayern won 4–0.

The Jesús Gil Years

In 1987 controversial politician and businessman Jesús Gil (most of his colleagues when he was the Marbella mayor are now in jail) became club president.
Atlético had not won La Liga for ten years and were desperate for success. Gil spent heavily, bringing in a number of expensive signings, most notably Paulo Futre. However the title proved elusive and Gil developed a reputation for his ruthlessness. In pursuit of success, he hired and fired a number of managers, including César Luis Menotti, Ron Atkinson, Javier Clemente and a returning Luis Aragonés.
In 1996 Radomir Antić, with a squad including José Luis Caminero, Luboslav Penev, Diego Simeone, Milinko Pantić, Juan Manuel López and Kiko, finally delivered the much sought after league title as Atlético won the 1995/96 La Liga/Copa del Rey double. The heavy spending also continued with top signings Christian Vieri and Juninho Paulista arriving in the summer of 1997. However all the success produced little change in the overall Gil strategy, and although Antić survived three consecutive seasons in charge he was replaced during summer 1998 by Arrigo Sacchi who himself remained in the managerial hot seat for less than 6 months. Antić then returned briefly in early 1999 only to be replaced by Claudio Ranieri. The 1999–2000 season proved disastrous for Atlético. In December 1999, Gil and his board got suspended pending investigation into the misuse of club funds and government-appointed administrator José Manuel Rubí began running Atlético's day to day operations. With the sudden removal of Gil's strong presence, the club was in complete disarray and results on the pitch clearly reflected that. Ranieri handed in his resignation with the club in 17th spot out of 20 and heading towards relegation. The return of Antić for the third coaching stint failed to prevent the inevitable. Despite reaching the Copa del Rey final, Atlético were relegated.
Atlético spent two seasons in the Segunda División, narrowly missing out on promotion in 2001 before winning the Segunda División championship in 2002.

Aguirre Era

In 2006, Fernando Torres, one of the biggest talents in recent Spanish football history, was joined by Portuguese internationals Costinha, Maniche and Argentine Sergio Agüero.
Fernando Torres shocked the club in June 2007 when he stated his desire to play for Liverpool. He left Atlético and joined the English giant on 4 July 2007 for £26.5 million, £20 million of which was in cash, with the rest consisting of the rights to Luis García. Around this same time, Atleti also made a splash by signing Uruguay international and former European Golden Boot/Pichichi winner Diego Forlán for roughly €21 million from Villarreal. Several weeks later, the club gave up Bulgarian star Martin Petrov to Manchester City, but got a replacement shortly after: Portuguese star Simão, signed from Benfica for roughly €20 million. On 29 July, it was announced that Atlético had signed winger José Antonio Reyes for €12 million.
In July 2007, the Atlético board reached an agreement with the city of Madrid to sell the land where the stadium is built and move the club to the Olympic Stadium, owned by the city. Atlético will be allowed to play in Vicente Calderón stadium until 2010. The new stadium will be owned by the club on 2016, as the city is applying to host the 2016 Olympic Games.
The 2007/08 season proved to be the most successful season for the club in the last decade. The team reached the round of 32 of the UEFA Cup, where they were defeated by Bolton Wanderers. They also reached the Quarterfinal round of the Domestic Cup, the Copa del Rey, where they were beaten by eventual champions Valencia. More significantly, the team finished the La Liga season in 4th place, qualifying for Champions League Play. The return of UEFA Champions League football to the Vicente Calderon Stadium was the first time since the 1996/97 season, when Atlético lost in the Quarterfinal round to the Dutch powerhouse Ajax. Sergio Agüero, Diego Forlán, Simão, Maxi Rodríguez, and goalkeeper Leo Franco led Atlético to its first Champions League appearance in more than ten years.
So far, the 2008/09 season has proven to be a another great stride forward in the resurrection of Club Atlético de Madrid's reputation as a force to be reckoned with both in Domestic and European Football, with participation continuing in the UEFA Champions League, however recent performances in La Liga have not been as successful as the club would have liked. This season, Atlético have added French goalkeeper Grégory Coupet, Dutch central defender John Heitinga, Czech central defender Tomáš Ujfaluši, Brazilian central midfielder Paulo Assunção, Argentine Midfielder Ever Banega (on loan from Valencia S.A.D., and French forward Florent Sinama-Pongolle to the lineup, who join returning loanee Portuguese central midfielder Maniche.
On 3 February 2009, Javier Aguirre was dismissed from his post as manager after a terrible start to 2009, not winning a game in 6 run outs. He later claimed this was simply not the case, and that he had been released by mutual termination rather than sacked. There was a public outrage after his dismissal, many believing he was not the cause of Atlético's problems, specifically player Diego Forlán who claimed “Dismissing Javier was the easy way out, but he was not the cause of our problems. The players are to blame because we have not been playing well and we have been committing a lot of errors." Abel Resino was confirmed new manager.


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Vicente Calderón Stadium

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Jue Abr 02, 2009 4:20 pm

The Vicente Calderón Stadium (Spanish: Estadio Vicente Calderón) in Madrid, is the home stadium of Atlético Madrid football club. It is located in the heart of Madrid by the banks of the River Manzanares. The stadium was originally called Estadio Manzanares, but was later changed to Vicente Calderón after the famous Atlético club president. The seats are laid out in red and white stripes, the famous colours of Atletico's shirts.
The Vicente Calderón Stadium regularly holds international matches of the Spanish national team. It has a capacity of 54,851 and was given the UEFA 5 star stadium rating in 2003. The Vicente Calderón is also used as a concert venue, having hosted concerts by acts such as U2 and Madonna.
Atlético could be moving away from the Vicente Calderón to a renovated stadium, Estadio La Peineta, in 2012, and the stadium would be torn down afterwards.


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Grégory Coupet

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Jue Abr 02, 2009 4:26 pm

Grégory Coupet (born December 31, 1972 in Le Puy-en-Velay) is a French football goalkeeper currently playing for Atlético Madrid in Spain.

Club career

Coupet began his club career with hometown team Club Olympique Le Puy, before going pro with Saint-Étienne in 1994. He made his Ligue 1 debut on March 26, 1994 in a 2-0 victory against Angers. After three seasons, he surprisingly moved to league rival Lyon (the two cities are only 80 kilometers apart, and are long-time local and national rivals). His gamble paid off as Lyon have regularly dominated the Le Championnat since 2002 and are also a regular fixture in the UEFA Champions League.
Coupet performed a memorable double save against Barcelona during an UEFA Champions League 2001-02 match, when he first acrobatically headed an unintended lob by a defender to his own crossbar, and then immediately parried a close header by the arriving Barcelona striker Rivaldo.
He openly wept during the group photo before France faced Turkey in a 2003 Confederations Cup semifinal match, which had taken place just hours after the shocking death of his close friend and former Lyon teammate Marc-Vivien Foé[4]. Coupet credits the aftermath of Foe's death in helping him gain a new perspective on life, in the process settling his differences with Lyon after having been engaged in nasty contract imbroglios for most of the 2002-03 season, which included at one point his vowing never to play for the club again.
In 2005, Coupet was voted for the first time, at age 33, into the top 10 for the IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper Award. He finished with 43 votes, fourth behind winner Petr Čech, Dida, and Gianluigi Buffon, respectively. He has also twice been named Ligue 1 Keeper of the Year, in 2004 and 2005.
On August 2, 2007, Coupet suffered a torn internal medial ligament in his left knee after catching his foot in the net during a training session. He underwent surgery four days later and missed the remainder of 2007, including France's final Euro 2008 qualifiers. He later joked on Lyon's official television network, "The good side...is that [France] have a rugby World Cup coming and I’ll be able to enjoy every bit of it.”
Coupet returned to the squad in the new year making his return in Lyon's 4-0 victory over Ligue 2 side Créteil in the Coupe de France on January 6, 2008. Since his return, he has played all of Lyon's matches; including the Champions League games against Manchester United.
On Friday, May 23, 2008, Coupet announced that he will play his final game for Lyon in the French Cup final against Paris Saint-Germain. After several weeks of uncertainty, it was officially confirmed by Atlético Madrid on July 7, 2008, that Coupet will continue his career at the Spanish club, signing a contract for two seasons and signed for €1.5 million.

International career

Coupet has 27 caps with France. He made his international debut against Australia during France's 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup-winning campaign. He was called up for the 2002 FIFA World Cup as the backup to Fabien Barthez, but did not play. The following year, Coupet kept three clean sheets and conceded only three goals in five games as France won the 2003 Confederations Cup, which marked their second victory in the competition in three years.
In February 2006, France Football magazine conducted a poll among its readers as to who should be France's first-choice goalie for the World Cup; Coupet received 69 percent of the votes (Barthez received 28 percent).
Though Coupet started six of 10 games in the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying rounds, coach Raymond Domenech surprisingly elected Barthez as his number one, which would relegate Coupet to the bench once again. Many had expected Coupet to be chosen as the starter due to his excellent performances with Olympique Lyonnais that had contributed greatly to their torrid streak of five Ligue 1 championships. This ultimately led to a row on May 25, 2006 between Coupet and Domenech that resulted in Coupet storming out of the team's training camp in Tignes with his family in tow, but he later returned and made amends with the coach.
Coupet is now France's number one after Barthez announced his retirement from both club and country football in August 2006. His first regular stint - currently during the Euro 2008 qualifiers - however, has gotten off to a less-than-desired start; France were upset by Scotland 1-0 on October 7, and a hand injury suffered in that match kept him out of France's 5-0 victory over the Faroe Islands four days later.
He was first choice goalkeeper for Euro 2008, conceding six goals in three matches as France were eliminated in the group stage.


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Leo Franco

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Jue Abr 02, 2009 4:28 pm

Leonardo Noeren Franco (born 20 May 1977 in San Nicolás, Argentina), commonly known as Leo Franco is a professional Argentine football goalkeeper who currently plays in Spain for Atlético Madrid.
Franco started his career at Independiente before moving to Spanish Mérida UD. In 1998 he transferred to Real Mallorca, where he would later become a regular starter for the club, and win the 2003 Copa del Rey. He was signed by Atlético Madrid in 2004.
With the Argentina U-20 team, Leo Franco won the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship. On 6 May 2006 he was named as a definite squad member for the 2006 World Cup by coach José Pekerman.
Franco replaced an injured Roberto Abbondanzieri in Argentina's quarter-final clash with Germany during the 2006 World Cup. Argentina lost on penalties, as Leo Franco failed to save a single shot. Franco had otherwise had good performances saving penalties in the Spanish Liga that year, saving two on March 23 in a match against Sevilla, and two more on December 3 in a match against Valencia.


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Ángel Bernabé

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Jue Abr 02, 2009 4:31 pm

Ángel Bernabé Acosta (born 11 July 1987 in Madrid) is a Spanish footballer who plays for Atlético Madrid. He also represented Spain in the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
He grew in Gamonal, Umaba, UD Talaverala and Talavera CF. Lately he was bought by Atlético de Madrid and joined Atlético de Madrid C.
In July he played with Atlético de Madrid the preseason in México. The entity showed that Ángel will play in the premier league this year sharing place with Leo Franco and Grégory Coupet.


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Tomáš Ujfaluši

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Jue Abr 02, 2009 4:34 pm

Tomáš Ujfaluši (born 24 March 1978 in Rýmařov) is a Czech football defender, who is signed to Spanish club Atlético Madrid in the Spanish La Liga. He is married to former Miss Czech Republic, Kateřina Ujfaluši.
Previously, Ujfaluši was with Sigma Olomouc (1997–2000), Hamburg (2001–04) and Fiorentina (2004–08 ).
He played for the Czech Republic at the 2004 European Championship, 2006 World Cup and 2008 European Championship. In this last championship he was named man of the game in the first game of the championship against Switzerland.
The Czech captain usually stars as a centre-back for his national team, in 2005–06 with Fiorentina he was mainly deployed as a right-back by coach Cesare Prandelli.


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Seitaridis

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Jue Abr 02, 2009 4:42 pm

Georgios "Giourkas" Seitaridis ( born 4 June 1981 in Piraeus) is a Greek football player currently playing as a defender for Atletico Madrid in Spain and for the Greek national football team. Giourkas (pronounced "Yurkas"), which he uses in both national team and Atlético Madrid shirts, means "George" in the Pontic Greek dialect and is his grandfather's name.

Club career

Seitaridis started his professional career with northern Greek side Giannina in 1998. He was soon spotted by Greek giants Panathinaikos, for whom he signed for in 2001. He quickly estbalished himself as a regular player for the team and at the age of 22 he won his first silverware by helping Panathinaikos to the championship and cup double in the 2003-04 Greek Super League season.
He was signed by Portuguese side and at the time Champions League winners Porto in June 2004 for €3 million , where he won the Intercontinental Cup soon after joining. There were constant rumours about a possible change of course to Real Madrid, following his success at Euro 2004, but the deal fell through, and on May 23, 2005 he was sold to Russian side Dynamo Moscow for a fee approaching €10 million.
Seitaridis decided to leave Dynamo after one season, and on June 16, 2006, he was transferred to Atlético Madrid for a transfer fee of €12 million. Seitaridis scored his first goal for Atletico on the 21 July 2007 in a game against Gloria Bistriţa. In November 2007 Seitaridis damaged his achilles tendon in a match against Almería which meant he needed to undergo surgery and was off the field for 6 months. He made his return in the 2-1 away win over Sevilla, although not playing he did make the sub's bench and claimed it was good to be back after such a long time out.
Seitaridis started the 2008/09 season off greatly, playing Atlético's first game, in a 4-0 victory over Recreativo, and making many plays down the wing. Since then Giourkas has been a regular started for Atletico. He picked a few injuries, and after 3 games out he returned on Atlético Madrid's Champion's League match against PSV and was one of the best on-field.

International career

Seitaridis made his international debut on February 13, 2002 against Sweden, and later that year participated in the 2002 UEFA European Under-21 Championship final round in Switzerland. He was also one of the key players for the Greek national team that won the Euro 2004 championship in Portugal, a win that shocked the footballing world as Greece were considered 100-1 outsiders before the tournament started. Giourkas had such an impact on the victorious team that he was named as part of the 23-man UEFA All-Star squad, together with four other Greek players.
He scored his first international goal on June 2, 2007 against Hungary in a Euro 2008 qualifying match


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Perea

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Jue Abr 02, 2009 4:48 pm

Luis Amaranto Perea (born 30 January 1979 in Turbo) is a Colombian football defender, and an important player in the Colombian national set-up. His career began in Independiente Medellín. He later played in Argentina with Boca Juniors, with whom he won the Intercontinental Cup in 2003. In 2004 he moved to play for Atlético Madrid.
He played for Colombia in Copa América 2007. He received his Spanish passport in summer 2007.


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Pablo Ibáñez

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Jue Abr 02, 2009 4:51 pm

Pablo Ibáñez Tébar, known as Pablo (born August 3, 1981 in Madrigueras, Albacete, Castile-La Mancha), is a Spanish footballer who currently plays for Atlético de Madrid, as a centre back.

Club career

Having grown through the ranks of hometown Albacete Balompié, Pablo made his first team debuts while it played in Segunda División. In 2003-04, he played his first first division encounter, on September 30, 2003, in a 2-0 home loss to CA Osasuna. He only missed one league game, helping the Castile-La Mancha side finish 14th.
The following summer, Pablo signed with Atlético de Madrid, forming a central defender partnership with Colombian Luis Amaranto Perea, arrived in the same season.
In 2007-08, despite heavy criticism, Pablo played in 34 league contests (netting in a 3-4 home loss against Villarreal CF), as the colchoneros finished fourth, earning a return to the UEFA Champions League.

International career

Pablo made his Spain debut in a November 17, 2004 friendly match against England played in Madrid (1-0 win), and was Spain's first-choice centre back at the 2006 FIFA World Cup alongside Carles Puyol.


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Antonio López

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Jue Abr 02, 2009 4:53 pm

Antonio López Guerrero (born 13 September 1981 in Benidorm, Valencia) is a Spanish footballer who currently plays for Atlético Madrid of the Spanish first division.
A left back, his main assets are a good defensive positioning and crossing ability.

Club career

A product of Atlético Madrid's youth system, López first appeared for the main side in 2001-02, whilst the colchoneros were in the second level, and contributed with 20 matches for a top flight return after a two-year hiatus.
Subsequently, he was loaned for two seasons to fellow La Liga side CA Osasuna, where he missed only five combined league games. During his Navarre spell, López scored twice, in 2002-03, most notably in a 1-0 home success against RCD Espanyol, on December 15, 2002.
In his second spell with Atlético, López quickly gained first-choice status. However, during 2007-08, he lost his position to Mariano Pernía, and would end serving more time at right back, due to injuries to teammates Giourkas Seitaridis and Juan Valera.
On March 15, 2009, López scored the winner through a rare header, as Atlético came from behind 0-2 to beat Villarreal CF at home. After the coach change, with former club player Abel Resino taking over for Javier Aguirre, he finished the season as the starter.

International career

López made his debut with Spain on March 30, 2005, in a 2006 World Cup qualifier in Belgrade (Serbia and Montenegro 0 - Spain 0).
Supposed to backup Asier del Horno during the final stages, he would not benefit from the Basque's injury days before the tournament started, as Argentine-born Pernía (then at Getafe CF) would be promoted to first-choice. López would only appear against Saudi Arabia in Germany.

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Pernía

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Jue Abr 02, 2009 4:57 pm

Mariano Andrés Pernía Molina (born 4 May 1977 in Buenos Aires) is a Spanish Argentine footballer, currently a left back with Atlético de Madrid.

Club career

Pernía came through the ranks at Club Atlético San Lorenzo de Almagro, but never achieved a first-team presence. Son of another footballer, Vicente Pernía (who was ironically left controversially out of the 1978 Argentina World Cup squad), he got his first chance of professional football when he moved to Club Atlético Independiente, but found himself moving in and out of the first team.
In January 2003, Pernía moved to Spain first division's Recreativo de Huelva, where he made somewhat of an impact. Pernía started in the Spanish Cup final loss to RCD Mallorca, but the Andalusian outfit was also relegated that season. He played in 40 league matches during the following campaign's second level.
Although Pernia was 26 and yet to break into regular top-flight football, he made the most of his opportunity when he moved to newly promoted side Getafe CF in 2004. He made an immediate impact in the Madrid side as an offensive defender with a killer left foot, scoring three goals in his debut season, including a 40-metre effort against Real Betis. He was a major part of and underrated team that survived their first top flight season, defying the expectations of several football pundits.
The 2005-06 season saw Pernía start 35 out of 38 games for Getafe, and he amazingly finished the season with 10 goals and 2 assists, becoming the highest scoring defender in a season for 20 years. With such good form, Pernía’s future was the source of much speculation. Despite a bid from Valencia CF, he signed a four-year contract with Atlético de Madrid starting in 2006-07, battling with fellow Spanish left-back Antonio López for the position. Pernía would be sent off in his final Getafe match, a 1-0 away loss to Celta de Vigo.
Pernía started the new season with high expectations after moving to a bigger club. In reality his season was arguably the worst of his career, with patchy form disappointing Atlético coach Javier Aguirre, and he spent much of the season on the bench. His tussle with López for the Atlético and Spanish left-back spot did not eventuate, as Aguirre favoured the latter throughout the season. At the season's end, speculation was rife that Pernía would return to Getafe, following the departure of former teammate Javier Paredes to Real Zaragoza, but he committed himself to Atlético.
However, in 2007-08, the tables turned, and Pernía gained positional battle with López, and would feature in 29 league matches as the colchoneros finished fourth, with eventual UEFA Champions League qualification.
Throughout 2008-09, Pernía remained first-choice most of the campaign; not surprisingly, he saw the birth of his own official fanclub - "Peña Pernía", which was Atlético's fastest growing peña of 2008.

International career

Pernía’s excellent form throughout 2005-06 made him a contender for international selection with Argentina and, somewhat belatedly, Spain. Although born in Argentina, he was granted Spanish citizenship in May 2006.
Initially, national team boss Luis Aragonés opted not to pick Pernía for the Spanish team in the 2006 World Cup - his reasoning was entirely legal and explained under current FIFA rules on squad selection. Asier del Horno was supposed to be first-choice leftback for the competition. However, an ankle injury sustained by Del Horno in the build-up to the tournament saw Pernía controversially called up as his replacement. In the last friendly match before the World Cup, Pernía made his debut against Croatia, and scored from a free-kick, on June 7, 2006, in a match played in Geneva.
Surprisingly, Pernía came from third-choice to starter, and appeared in the final stages in group wins against Ukraine and Tunisia, and also in their round of 16 loss to France.


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Heitinga

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Jue Abr 02, 2009 5:01 pm

John Gijsbert Alan Heitinga (born November 15, 1983 in Alphen aan den Rijn) is a Dutch football player. He plays for the Netherlands national football team, and joined Atlético Madrid from Ajax signing a five-year contract in May 2008.
He is known as an adaptable player as he can play in several different defensive positions on the pitch. Such as, a central defender, right-back and defensive midfielder. His surname implies that he has Indonesian descent on his father's side.

Career

Heitinga was part of the Ajax youth team before making his debut for the first team on 26 August 2001 against Feyenoord Rotterdam. He was part a new wave of talent that fielded the likes of Rafael van der Vaart, Wesley Sneijder and others. Heitinga quickly established himself as a strong addition to the team and became first-choice player under coach Co Adriaanse and later Ronald Koeman until he suffered a serious knee injury which kept him on the sidelines for over six months. His comeback was short-lived, as he played only one game before suffering yet another injury which again sentenced him to a long period of recovery. He made his second comeback at the start of the 2003-2004 season and impressed in his first game since injury against FC Volendam from where he went on to become a first choice central defender for the remainder of the season.
In the meantime his good performances for Ajax didn't go unnoticed by Dutch national coach Advocaat. Having been part of Dutch international youth teams, Heitinga made his senior debut for the Netherlands on 18 February 2004 in a friendly game against the United States. He made an immediate impact and was later included in the squad for the Euro 2004 in Portugal. In Portugal, the Netherlands were eliminated by the hosts in their fifth game (the semi-final), of which Heitinga played three.
Heitinga's development as a player suffered two dips in form in the 2004-2005 and the 2005-2006 seasons respectively. How big an influence the unstable situation at his club, AFC Ajax, had on him is debatable but it's safe to conclude a young player will struggle to excel in an unbalanced side suffering inconsistency in results and changes in management. Despite club struggles, Heitinga never lost his spot in the national team under Marco van Basten, who took over as Dutch national coach in the summer of 2004. By the end of 2005, had also once again become a key player in the Ajax squad. He would also be selected by Van Basten for the Dutch team of 23 players to compete in the FIFA World Cup 2006, hosted by Germany. The Dutch side performed reasonably well at the World Cup, qualifying for the second round before being knocked out by Portugal. He was also called up to the Dutch squad for Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland.
He moved to Atlético Madrid at the end of the 2007/2008 season for a fee of €10 million.


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Maxi Rodríguez

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Jue Abr 02, 2009 7:26 pm

Maximiliano (Maxi) Rubén Rodríguez (born January 2, 1981 in Rosario, Santa Fe) is an Argentine footballer. He is commonly used as a winger or midfielder, and he currently captains Atlético Madrid. He holds dual citizenship: Argentinian and Italian.

Club career

He came through the youth set-up at Newell's Old Boys in the Argentine Football League, and played for the club for three seasons before moving to Spain.
In 2002 he moved to La Liga with Espanyol. His league debut came on September 2, 2002 in an 0-2 loss against Real Madrid. During his last season with Espanyol he played 37 league games and scored 15 goals, including Espanyol's 2000th Spanish league goal. At the start of the 2005-06 season he moved to Atlético Madrid for €7 million, where he is currently team captain.
In 2009 Maxi Rodríguez appeared in a music video for Coti staring alongside Diego Forlán

National Team

He won the 2001 World Youth Championship with the Argentina Under-20 team, and has played with the national team since the friendly match against Japan of 2003, including the Confederations Cup 2005 and 2006 World Cup qualifications. On May 6, 2006 he was named as a squad member for the 2006 FIFA World Cup by coach José Pekerman. On June 16, he scored twice in Argentina's 6-0 victory over Serbia and Montenegro in the group stage, spearheading their efforts into the knockout stages.
In the round of 16, he scored the winning goal against Mexico in a 2-1 extra time victory. He controlled a cross-field pass from Juan Pablo Sorín with his chest before volleying into the top corner from outside the penalty area with his left foot in the 98th minute. In an official online poll by FIFA, this was voted the best goal of the 2006 World Cup.
After Argentina lost the quarter-final game against Germany on June 30, 2006, Rodríguez punched German player Bastian Schweinsteiger in the back. FIFA fined Rodriguez CHF 5,000 and suspended him from two matches in Copa América 2007 for violent conduct. On October 11, 2006 he tore his ACL while playing for Argentina in an international match against Spain and was ruled out for six months following surgery.


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Paulo Assunção

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Jue Abr 02, 2009 7:29 pm

Paulo Assunção da Silva, Assunção (born 25 January 1980 in Várzea Grande), is a Brazilian footballer, currently playing for Atlético de Madrid in the Spanish first division. He is a defensive midfielder known for his positioning and tackling.

Football career

After first appearing professionally for Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras, Assunção emigrated to Portugal, having a short stint with FC Porto's B side, returning shortly after to Palmeiras.
In 2002-03, he joined Madeira's C.D. Nacional, and made his Portuguese first division debut on January 26, 2003, in a 0-0 home tie with Vitória de Guimarães.
After two highly successful individual seasons, Assunção was snapped again by Porto, but would be loaned for 2004-05 to AEK Athens F.C., then managed by former Porto manager Fernando Santos. In July 2005, he returned to Porto, going on to be an instrumental element in the side's midfield (alongside Raúl Meireles and Lucho González), as it achieved three consecutive league championships.
On July 2008, after buying out the remainder of his contract, Assunção joined Atlético de Madrid.


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Éver Banega

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Jue Abr 02, 2009 7:34 pm

Éver Maximiliano David Banega (born 29 June 1988 in Rosario, Santa Fe) is an Argentine professional footballer currently playing for Atlético de Madrid, on loan from Valencia C.F.. His preferred position is central midfielder.

Boca Juniors

Banega came through the youth ranks at Boca Juniors, reaching the first team at 18, and winning immediate recognition thanks to his passing average and his performances in the first division. After teammate midfielder Fernando Gago moved to Real Madrid in January 2007, Banega was named as his successor, despite his young age.
He made his professional debut in the 4-0 victory against Club Atlético Banfield on February 10, 2007. On April 2, just a few matches afterwards, he was given an ovation when he left the field.

Valencia

On January 5, 2008, Banega signed with Spanish side Valencia CF on a five and-a-half year deal, for a fee of around €18m. Unfortunately, this news were marred by revelations that he had appeared on a webcam performing a sexual act. Banega himself would not be drawn on the matter, which dated back to his Boca Juniors days. He had his first training session with the club on the 7th.
On 13 January 2008, Banega made his La Liga debut (also his first match with the Che), coming on as a substitute during the break, in a final 0-1 loss at Atlético de Madrid.

Atlético de Madrid

Banega was loaned to Atlético for 2008-09. He made his official debut as a substitute during the Colchoneros's 3-0 win at PSV Eindhoven, in the first group stage match of the UEFA Champions League.
However, Banega failed to settle at Atlético's starting XI, also being sent off twice, in away draws against Villarreal CF and UD Almería.

International career

Banega was selected for Argentina's under-20 along with future teammate Sergio Agüero, and the nation won the World Cup of the category, held in Canada.
Soon after joining Valencia in January 2008, Banega made his debut for the Argentina national team, in a 5-0 friendly win over Guatemala, on February 6, 2008, which he started.


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Miguel de las Cuevas

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Jue Abr 02, 2009 7:36 pm

Miguel Ángel de las Cuevas Barberá (born 19 June 1986 in Alicante, Valencian Community), is a Spanish footballer who currently plays for Atlético Madrid of the Spanish first division, usually as an attacking midfielder.
De las Cuevas started his professional career in the the third level, with hometown Hércules CF, achieving promotion in 2004-05.
In 2006-07 he signed with Atlético de Madrid. During preseason, in the Teresa Herrera Trophy match versus Nacional Montevideo on August 13, 2006, Miguel suffered a serious ankle injury that kept him out of action for more than one year.
On December 12, 2007, De las Cuevas finally made his debut for the colchoneros, playing the second half in a Spanish Cup away match against Granada 74 CF, in the round of 32.


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Simão Sabrosa

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Jue Abr 02, 2009 7:40 pm

Simão Pedro Fonseca Sabrosa, OIH, commonly known as Simão Sabrosa or just Simão (born 31 October 1979 in Constantim, Portugal), is a Portuguese football winger who plays for Atlético Madrid and the Portuguese national team. His primary attributes are free kicks, penalties, and dribbling.

Sporting CP

Simão started his career at Sporting CP.

Barcelona

Simão moved to Barcelona in the summer of 1999 on a €15 million transfer. In 2001, after a comparatively low-key tenure at the Spanish club, playing 46 times in two seasons and only scoring 3 times. Simão then moved back to Portugal to the Portuguese giants Benfica, on a deal reportedly worth €12 million.

Benfica

Simão instantly became a fan-favorite, quickly acquired the status of captain and was often acclaimed as Benfica's top player during the six years he spent at the club and also one of the Portuguese championship's best. Since he arrived at Benfica, Simão has always ended seasons as the best goalscorer of the squad. He has scored a total of 95 goals in 230 matches for Benfica, in all competitions. He has written 2 books and recently launched a DVD teaching children how to play football.
In his first four seasons, Simão netted over ten goals in each season. In the 2005-06 UEFA Champions League, Simão scored a free kick against Manchester United and a goal against defending champions Liverpool, helping to knock Liverpool out of the tournament.
The summer 2005 transfer window saw Simão targeted by English Premiership club Liverpool in an offer worth approximately £12 million, though negotiations reportedly failed over Benfica's increase in asking price. During the 2006 summer transfer window, several clubs, such as Arsenal and Valencia, revealed interest in Simão, but he decided to stay in Benfica. During the January 2007 transfer window, he was targeted by Atlético Madrid, but denied these rumours. Liverpool also revived their interest after their chief executive, Rick Parry, confirmed that interest.

Atlético Madrid

Ultimately, on July 26, 2007 it was announced by Benfica that they had agreed to a fee of €20 million with Atlético Madrid for the sale of Simão. He scored 7 goals in 30 matches in the 2007/2008 La Liga season in Spain. He also scored 3 goals in 6 matches in the UEFA Cup.


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Maniche

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Jue Abr 02, 2009 7:46 pm

Maniche; real name Nuno Ricardo de Oliveira Ribeiro, OIH, born 11 November 1977 in Lisbon) is a Portuguese football central midfielder currently playing for Atlético Madrid and the Portuguese national team.
Known for his teamwork, stamina and powerful shot, he received his nickname after Benfica's 1980s legendary Danish forward Michael Manniche.

Club career

Maniche began his career in the junior teams of S.L. Benfica. After a stint with Alverca FC, he returned to Benfica in 1999, where he initially played as a winger.
Following disciplinary problems at Benfica, he was signed by José Mourinho, the new manager of FC Porto. Mourinho made Maniche a key member of his team, reconverting him to centre midfielder.
After a successful Porto period, winning both the UEFA Cup in 2003 and the UEFA Champions League in 2004, Maniche was sold to FC Dynamo Moscow in 2005, for €16 million. Unsettled, as the vast majority of foreign players bought by new team owner Alexei Fedorychev, he would leave the side on January 2006, loaned to Premier League side Chelsea.
Maniche played a significant role in Chelsea's 2006 championship run, the second consecutive for the club, though it was not the sort of involvement he would have hoped for. Making his first start for Chelsea in a home game against West Ham United, he failed to stop opponent James Collins from putting the Hammers ahead on 14 minutes, had an opportunity to score an equalizer but smashed his shot against the crossbar, and was then shown an immediate red card three minutes later for a challenge on Lionel Scaloni. However, Chelsea went on to secure an improbable 4-1 victory.
However, Maniche did not make enough appearances in the league to earn a winners' medal. Chelsea had the option of making the transfer permanent at the end of the season, for £5 million ($9 million), but the player eventually returned to Dynamo Moscow.[3]He then was subsequently signed by Atlético de Madrid, in late August 2006.
Following a run-in with Atlético coach, Mexican Javier Aguirre, Maniche was cut from the squad, and agreed to join Internazionale on a January loan, running for the second part of 2007-08. Splitting time between the bench and the first eleven in eight Serie A appearances, he managed to score one goal, in a March 22, 2008 2-1 home defeat against Juventus, also hitting the post in stoppage time.
On July 2008, Maniche returned to Atlético Madrid, playing a major part in the Colchoneros' season, as the club had returned to the UEFA Champions League after a 12-year absence. A starter throughout much of the campaign, he was ousted in late February after a new quarrel with the management, now led by former club goalkeeper Abel Resino.

International career

Maniche played for his country in their second-place finish at Euro 2004, having just debuted the previous year. He scored from long-range against The Netherlands in the semi-final, in a 2-1 win.
On 21 June 2006, in the FIFA World Cup, Portugal played Mexico, in the nation's final group game. Maniche scored in the 6th minute, and Portugal went on to win 2-1, progressing as group-winners. On June 25, in the round-of-16, as the national side faced Holland once again, he netted the only goal in the game, and was the only Portuguese player to feature on Adidas' Golden Ball shortlist.
After appearing significantly during the qualifying stages for Euro 2008, he was surprisingly left out of the nation's final squad, although younger brother, left back Jorge Ribeiro, would make the final cut.


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Ignacio Camacho

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Jue Abr 02, 2009 9:36 pm

Ignacio "Nacho" Camacho Barnola (born May 4, 1990 in Zaragoza, Aragon) is a Spanish footballer who currently plays for Atlético de Madrid, in the Spanish first division. His usual position is central midfielder.

Club career

Initially starting out at hometown club Real Zaragoza, Camacho was spotted by Atlético de Madrid, and was signed to its youth academy. He made his first-team debut on March 1, 2008 (a starter, he played 68 minutes and was booked), as the colchoneros won 4-2 at home over FC Barcelona. He had just signed his first professional contract two months earlier.
On May 3, he scored his first La Liga goal (netting twice), in another home success, this time against Recreativo de Huelva (3-0, one day shy of his 18th birthday).
After some excellent performances in 2007-08, Camacho would however spend the following season restricted to cup matches (he did not make the league's list of 18 in most of the games), with coach Javier Aguirre preferring Portuguese Maniche and new signing Éver Banega. This situation would slightly improve in late February 2009, as new coach Abel Resino had a run-in with Maniche, leaving him out of the squad for the remainder of the campaign.

International career

Camacho captained Spain's under-17 at the 2007 European Championship, as Spain emerged victorious.
In 2008, following his performances with Atlético's first team, he was "upgraded" to the under-21s.


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Raúl García

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Jue Abr 02, 2009 9:39 pm

Raúl García Escudero (born July 11, 1986 in Pamplona, Navarre) is a Spanish football central midfielder for Atlético de Madrid, and a former Spanish under-21 international.

Football career

García, an all-around midfielder, played for CA Osasuna during his first years as a professional. On October 28, 2004, he made his debut for the first team, in a 0-3 away defeat against FC Barcelona, with his first chance being offered by Mexican Javier Aguirre, his future coach at Atlético de Madrid. García netted five league goals (the first on October 26, 2005, in a 3-2 home win over neighbours Athletic de Bilbao) in his first full season, as the Navarrese finished in fourth place.
In July 2007, the rising star was linked to a Real Madrid move,[citation needed] but García eventually signed a five-year contract with cross-city rivals Atlético, in a €13m deal.


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Luis García

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Jue Abr 02, 2009 9:43 pm

Luis Javier García Sanz (born June 24, 1978 in Badalona, Barcelona, Catalonia) is a Spanish footballer currently playing for Atlético de Madrid, mainly as a left winger, although he can also operate behind a sole striker.
Although naturally left-footed, he has ability to kick with both feet, and has a good aerial game despite a small frame.

Club career

García was a product of FC Barcelona's prolific youth ranks but, after two successful seasons with its B team, he left on loan for Real Valladolid, where he made his La Liga debut, on August 22, 1999, in a 0-1 loss at CD Numancia, and finished the season at second division's CD Toledo, also on loan.
Subsequently, García played another loan season in the second level, being instrumental in CD Tenerife's promotion, netting 16 league goals under the guidance of manager Rafael Benítez. He returned to Valladolid for 2001-02, scoring seven goals in 25 contests, including two in a 5-1 success at Tenerife.
In 2002-03, García was sold to Atlético de Madrid for €3.6 million but, after a highly successful individual season (nine league goals), Barça activated a clause which allowed the player's return, for an additional €1.4. At Nou Camp, he had another good season, helping the Catalonia outfit to the vice-championship.
García was signed by former coach Benítez's Liverpool FC in August 2004, for a fee of £6 million. He was bought essentially as a replacement for El Hadji Diouf, but proved much more than a stand-in, and became a key component of Liverpool's attacking unit. He made his Premiership debut against Bolton Wanderers on August 29, a 1–0 loss, although García had an apparently legitimate goal ruled out for offside.
His first goal in a Liverpool shirt came against West Bromwich Albion at Anfield in September. He went on to score seven more league goals that season, including the winner in the Merseyside derby on March 20, 2005.
He was also a key player in Liverpool's successful 2005 Champions League campaign, netting winning goals against Juventus (a left-footed shot which curled over Gianluigi Buffon, one of the best goals in the competition during that season) and Chelsea (a controversial goal in the fourth minute, dubbed a "ghost goal" by Chelsea manager José Mourinho), in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively. He took part in the Champions league final victory over A.C. Milan on May 25, 2005, finishing with 13 goals in all competitions in his first season in English football.
García did not make so much of an impact in the 2005-06 season, although he weighed in with some vital goals including a lofted finish against Chelsea to put them out of the FA Cup in the semi-finals. García was suspended for the final victory against West Ham, having been sent off in a league game just days after his semi-final winner, ironically against West Ham. He also scored Liverpool's third goal in their 2005 UEFA Super Cup final win.
On January 10, 2007, following the 3-6 loss to Arsenal in the Carling Cup, it was confirmed by the club that García had ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the game, and would be out for at least six months.
García's positive relationship with club fans was in great measure due to the fact of his decisive goals against Chelsea. It was further underlined by the song frequently sung in his honor, to the tune of "You Are My Sunshine": "Luis García, he drinks Sangria/he came from Barça to bring us joy!/He's five foot seven, he's football heaven/So please don't take our Luis away!"
Garcia ranked 24th in the 100 Players Who Shook The Kop online poll, with Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard being the only current squad players ranked higher.
On August 21 2007, liverpoolfc.tv published a letter from García to the fans, in which he expressed his appreciation. He later revealed he wanted to return to Spain at some point and play for Atlético. Previously, on July 2, his agent revealed that a deal was being put in place for a permanent transfer. García signed for around £4m, with his transfer being negotiated between the two clubs around the same time that they were arranging a deal for Fernando Torres in the opposite direction. Nonetheless, these deals were conducted separately.
After a first season where he played mainly as backup to Portugal's Simão Sabrosa, still managing 30 league appearances, García played both matches against former side Liverpool in the following season's UEFA Champions League group stage. On November 4, 2008, he came on as a late substitute at Anfield, to appreciative applause.

International career

After a productive first season with Liverpool, García made his debut for the national team on March 26, 2005, appearing in a 3-0 friendly win against China, in Salamanca.
García was then chosen as part of the nation's squad-of-23 for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He started in wins against Ukraine and Tunisia, being a used replacement in the round of 16 loss against France.


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Sinama Pongolle

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Jue Abr 02, 2009 9:48 pm

Florent Sinama-Pongolle (born October 20, 1984 in Saint-Pierre, Réunion) is a French footballer who currently plays as a striker for Atlético de Madrid, pace and mobility being his best attributes.

Club career

Sinama-Pongolle was signed by Liverpool F.C. in 2001, along with his cousin Anthony Le Tallec, from Le Havre AC, by then manager Gérard Houllier, after impressive performances in both the European Under-16 Championship and the Under-17 World Championship. He was named player of the tournament as France won the latter competition, and would remain (as Le Tallec) two further years at Le Havre, loaned.
After his return and insignificant playing time with the Reds (he did score two goals for in the third round of the 2005-06 FA Cup against Luton Town, helping Liverpool come from 3-1 down to a final score of 5-3, as the side finally emerged victorious in the tournament), Sinama-Pongolle was loaned to fellow Premier League side Blackburn Rovers F.C. on January 31, on loan until the end of the season. Previously, he still helped in Liverpool's Champions League campaign, scoring a memorable chip from 20 yards, in a 2-1 success at Real Betis.
On August 30, 2006, Sinama-Pongolle signed a one-year contract at Recreativo de Huelva, with an option to sign on for a further two years. On May 4, 2007, the Andalusia outfit confirmed he signed a permanent deal until 2011, for a fee of €4million (£2.7) He was Recre's top goalscorer in his two seasons of play (12 and 10 respectively).
Sinama-Pongolle signed a four-year contract with Atlético de Madrid for a fee believed to be in the region of €10million (£8m), on July 3, 2008. Initially thought of as a backup to Diego Forlán and Sergio Agüero, he benefitted from an injury to the Uruguayan, netting four goals in his first five league appearances for the colchoneros, with braces against former side Recreativo and Getafe CF.
Later in his first season, injury and match bans to team captain Maxi Rodríguez saw him playing several games successfully at right winger.


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Diego Forlán

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Jue Abr 02, 2009 9:54 pm

He was born into a family of footballers. His father Pablo Forlán had played for the Uruguay national football team during the 1966 FIFA World Cup held in England and the 1974 FIFA World Cup held in West Germany and his grandfather Juan Carlos Corazo played for Independiente, in Argentina. He has dual citizenship - Uruguayan and Spanish.

Early career

He was a promising tennis player in his youth, but when his sister, Alejandra Forlán, was involved in a car accident which killed her boyfriend and left her in intensive care for five months, he decided however to follow the family tradition and concentrate on football. He played for several South American clubs including Argentine side Independiente before transferring in January 2002 to play for Manchester United in England for a fee of £6.9 million.

Manchester United

He made his debut for the team on 29 January against Bolton Wanderers but did not score his first goal for the club, a penalty, until 18 September in a Champions League game against Maccabi Haifa. It took him eight months and 27 games to score that first goal, to the extent that he was dubbed "Diego Forlorn" and "Diego Birtles" (after Garry Birtles, a former United striker who had flopped) for his goal drought by some quarters of the English press.
Forlán enjoyed the occasional purple patch of scoring, but inconsistency blighted his time at United. He was, however, noted for scoring important goals, such as the late equaliser at home to Aston Villa and the remarkable volleyed winner in the last minutes of the home game against Chelsea during United's Premiership-winning season of 2002-03. During this period, Forlán became known for characteristically removing his shirt and baring his torso in celebration of his goals. The first such example of this routine resulted in quite an amusing incident; Forlán whipped his shirt off in excitement after scoring an 85th minute winner against Southampton in November 2002 but struggled to get it back on in time for the re-start of play, resulting in the spectacle of Forlán briefly running around the Old Trafford pitch bare-chested, with his shirt still in his hand, then recovering the ball for his team. The referee soon stopped play and ordered Forlán off the pitch to get dressed.
He became a fan favourite in 2002 when he scored two goals against Liverpool in a 2-1 victory at Anfield. Forlán's record of 17 goals from 95 appearances for the club does not compare favourably against his former team mate Ruud van Nistelrooy's 150 goals in 210 games, and it was widely thought that he would not start the 2004-05 season in the Red Devils' team colours. Wayne Rooney's arrival at the English club eventually signalled the end of Forlán's playing days at United.

Villarreal

Forlán was strongly linked to a move to Spanish club Levante, but signed on 21 August 2004 with another Spanish club, Villarreal, where he became the Spanish 2004-05 season "pichichi" (top scorer) with 25 goals, helping Villareal to their first ever UEFA Champions League spot. He also jointly won the European Golden Boot award with Thierry Henry.

Atlético Madrid

Forlán was linked to transfer with Juan Román Riquelme to Atlético Madrid in exchange for Luis Perea and money in June 2007. On 30 June 2007, Atlético Madrid confirmed that they had agreed a fee of around €21 million. He returned to England in February 2008 to take part in Atlético's UEFA Cup clash against Bolton Wanderers (the club whom he made his Manchester United debut against), but the side lost out 1-0 on aggregate.


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Abel Resino

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Jue Abr 02, 2009 10:00 pm

Abel Resino González (born February 2, 1960 in Velada, Toledo) is a Spanish football manager and former player, currently managing La Liga side Atlético de Madrid.
Playing career
Abel has played for CD Toledo, CD Ciempozuelos and Atlético de Madrid, as well as for the Spanish national team as a goalkeeper.

Coaching career

In 2005, he started managing Segunda División team Ciudad de Murcia, where he stayed a year and almost gained promotion. The club actually promoted was Levante UD, the team he coached replacing Juan Ramón López Caro since January 2007 until he was replaced by Gianni De Biasi.
As a player, he held the record for the longest clean sheet in La Liga, at 1,275 minutes. He played for Atletico Madrid while achieving this record and was finally beaten by Luis Enrique of Sporting Gijon on 19 March 1991. This record was also the European Record for the longest clean sheet in a single season until 2009 when Dutch goalkeeper Edwin Van Der Sar from Premier League side Manchester United broke the record against Fulham in the 64th minute.

Coaching philosophy and style

Abel is regarded as an offensive manager, playing with the defensive line high up the field. This is sometimes seen as a risky style of playing.


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Enrique Cerezo

Mensaje  wakin_14 el Jue Abr 02, 2009 10:03 pm

Enrique Cerezo is a cinematographic producer and the president of Club Atlético de Madrid from 2002.

Cinematographic career

Enrique Cerezo began in cinema in 1971 as a camera assistant in the movie Vente a Alemania, Pepe. Three years later he directs his only film La sonrisa del sol: Almería.
As cinema producer, he is the owner of Enrique Cerezo - Cinematographic Productions and has produced many films. The most famous films produced by Enrique Cerezo are El perro del hortelano, La buena estrella, Pídele cuentas al rey, Yoyes, Juana la Loca, La hora de los valientes and La vida de nadie.

Presidency of Atlético Madrid

After the ascent of the club to the First Division in 2002, Jesús Gil decided to leave the presidency of the organization, although his family continued controlling it and decided to designate Enrique Cerezo as President, appreciating his collaboration in the club during many years.
In the first season, the club made several transfers of certain reputable players such as Javi Moreno, Demetrio Albertini and Fabricio Coloccini coming from the AC Milan, but the club finished the season in twelfth position.
In the 2003-04 season, the club changed the coach, stopping Luis Aragonés and contracting with Gregorio Manzano. Great part of the deals of the previous season leave the club, and in this year, the arrived players are like Diego Simeone, Ariel Ibagaza and Lequi. The club finished in seventh position, but making a poor game.
In the season of 2004-2005, the club changed the coach again, the new coach of the rojiblanco is César Ferrando and he aimed to renovate the group. At that time, the club bought the pair of central defenders Pablo Ibáñez and Perea. Again the project does not get to materialize and the club finished eleventh, again outside the European competitions.
In the season of 2005-2006, the veteran Carlos Bianchi was in charged to train the club. The club made great investments by bringing stars like Martin Petrov, Maxi Rodríguez and Mateja Kezman. Nevertheless the team does not obtain good results and the technician is dismissed at half season, Pepe Murcia replaced him


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