The first training of Atletico de Madrid after announcing the departure of Antoine Griezmann responded to the forced naturalness with which it pretends to pretend that life remains the same although it is doomed to great changes. The images from the preparatory session illustrated the classic attempt to staging that nothing happens when a lot happens. Griezmann was applied to the same day-to-day routines. An accomplice and liberating smile with Koke, a few touches to the ball over there, some weight lifting over here. All chord with the same sensation of tranquility that they try to transmit from the offices of the entity, where the topic of which the club continues and the players pass is repeated. Everything so apparently normal as abnormal is what will leave Griezmann and the old guard for what has been the Atlético in the Simeone era.
Never has the diaspora been so massive under the leadership of Cholo. In these seven years with the Argentine coach at the helm there was above all a trickle of departures from transcendent players. One summer Diego Ribas, another Falcao, another Courtois and Diego Costa, another Arda, another Gabi, another Tiago … Even the economic growth of the club, due to the sporting success, managed to stop the leaks of the best talents. Until now, never the departure of such a vital footballer had been accompanied by the departure of so many important elements in the structure of the coach. In the absence of what Rodrigo decides, the stampede of the French star, to which are added that of Godín, Juanfran, Lucas and, probably, that of Filipe Luis, measures everything. On the table and the blackboard will be tested the ability of Simeone to rebuild a team that is competitive again and able to chop so high: eight titles, two Champions finals and seven consecutive appearances in the great European competition.
The debate on the profile of hiring is open. The majority of talented players that have passed through Simeone's hands in recent years have not caught on and have not fitted into an idea in which it is more important to run backwards than forward, defend more than attack. Óliver Torres, Carrasco, Gaitán, Vitolo, Lemar … They all squeaked and were repelled by the style and mold Simeone. The payroll is so wide that, although the great problem of the Athletic in the last two seasons has been his bad game, at some point the club has considered lowering the bar of technical quality of the next project to increase it with more tactical players and physicists.
With nearly 200 million euros, simply guaranteed by the sales of Lucas and Griezmann, the market will also measure the real capacity of the entity to seduce and go shopping. The exit of Griezmann generates that the organization represents the panacea of the clubs with white blackbirds to sell.
Atletico, so in need of filling the hole left by a player of Griezmann's size as to feed the illusion of the fans, faces the overpricing. And also to have to continue paying the payment of the new stadium with the sale of the lands of the Calderón still unspecified. It will be difficult for the club to repeat the economic stress that this course has undergone for trying to lift its first European Cup in its own stadium. The 20 million euros net that Griezmann received will no longer be a burden. Outside of the market, there is only the coach's salary, slightly higher than that of the French striker.
The prolonged continuity of Simeone – arrived in December 2011 – is a rare event among the great European clubs. Its prolonged permanence is a symbol of sport and institutional stability. Not even Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique in Barcelona, both with their respective triplets, or Zidane with their trio of consecutive Champions, resisted the demanding daily wear. Simeone, yes. He himself recommended shortly after his arrival that the cycles of a coach did not exceed four years. He is on track to double that figure with the vast majority of his praetorians outside the club. Now he will have to look for other transmitters of his ideology for the new ones. There also passes examination the Argentinean technician, who has seen how the passage of time and the wear have passed more bill to the players that go than to himself.
Oblak, Koke and Saul are emerging as the great candidates to assume the leadership of the booth. One of the three captaincies is reserved for the goal. Koke is already one of them. His leadership points more to his bonhomie and his commitment than to real gifts of cacique of wardrobe. By seniority, the third captaincy should be for Saul, but it is not the first time that Simeone skips that unwritten rule of the locker room.
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