It is no secret that the success of Atletico lies, in large part, in the defensive work that Simeone has perfected since landing on the bench. Of the seven seasons that the Argentine coach has led since the beginning, only in one the team has not finished being the least thrashed of the League. The formula of this security, although with slight changes, has been based on a quartet of footballers who have made their presence in the area an ordeal for the rival attackers. Three of those who have been from the beginning have been Filipe on the left, Godín in the center and Juanfran on the right, players who now live their final compasses as rojiblancos.
The Metropolitan has become for a time this part in the temple of great farewells. If in the past were Fernando Torres and Gabi who with their tears said goodbye, last Sunday went to Godín who had to mourn. His departure has been one of the comidillas since the beginning of the season, since the negotiation between the club and the player has lasted for months without a final agreement. Their situation is the same as that of Juanfran and Filipe, two old "cholismo" swords that will move on July 1. The future of Spanish was clarified yesterday when it was announced that it has not accepted the offer of renewal of the club; the Brazilian, in the absence of confirmation, seems to go the same way. These losses, together with that of Lucas, force Atlético to go to the market and reinvent itself in its defensive plot.
One of the keys of the irregular season of the Athletic one has been the injuries of the rear, that have caused more than a headache to Simeone. The shortage of troops in some sections have forced him to innovate, resenting the team in one of the facets that has always better dominated. An example was the match that marked the season, the win against Juventus in the Champions League, when Juanfran was forced to occupy the position of left-back. That day neither Lucas nor Filipe were available. Saul or Thomas, in addition to the occasional canterano, have had to repeatedly cover the holes behind. «It has been a difficult season. From the beginning, that Filipe and Godín were leaving, that no … Then Lucas disappeared, we do not know what happened, "Simeone said at the press conference after the match against Sevilla.
The departure of at least four members of what has been the defense of Atlético during recent years not only represents a significant loss of troops, but also diminishes the leadership of the group. Godín and Juanfran were among the captains this year and have been two of those who have always given their faces on and off the field. Filipe, except for his departure to London for a year, has been on the team since Simeone came to the club and is another one that has always had the confidence of the coach. Lucas, although with much less experience, was the present and future of the rearguard and his departure, which Simeone tried to avoid at all costs, leaving an important gap.
«The goal of the club has always been to make a huge effort for important players» Diego Pablo Simeone, Atletico Coach
Thus, the club's obligation now is to renew or die. Atlético will start the summer without a left-back and with only two centers and one right-back. The arrival of Felipe, 30-year-old central defender from Oporto, seems to be closing for less than 30 million and would come to cover the gap of Godín. For the casting of the defense parade other footballers who came to fill the gaps left by Filipe, Lucas and Juanfran. The squad Montero, in whom Simeone increasingly trusts, could have a gap in the squad with Giménez and Savic, two of the – still – survivors of the rout. Nahuén Pérez, young Argentinian arrived in winter, has not counted on minutes and everything points to a cession to shoot in Spain.
Who does seem to follow, and more after the official renewal a few weeks ago, is Oblak, the last obstacle for rivals who seek tickling the rojiblancos. It remains to be seen who will exercise as their Praetorian guard. .