all set for Atleti!
Just a short post today… it’s time for another derbi madrileño (20h)! I hope Madrid can get a confidence-boosting win to give them momentum going into next week’s Champions League semifinal game.
This is MFC Álvaro Borja Morata Martín at the age of 13 during his days in Atlético’s cantera (via Marca). On that day, April 16, 2005, he and his fellow ballboys went up to Carlos Kameni after the Atleti-Espanyol game to ask for his gloves. ABMM has always been a madridista, but his family decided that he would join the cantera of Atleti because the training grounds were closer to their home. He left the club because he wanted to play more, and the head of the cantera there said he’s a wonderful boy and has developed a lot as a player.
Nineteen players were called up for this game. During his press conference, Aitor Karanka explained the absences, saying that Álvaro Arbeloa has pain in his back, while Sergio Ramos and Fábio Coentrão are being rested. As for Cristiano, he is sitting this one out too, as he had experienced discomfort before the game against Dortmund, and trained apart from his teammates on Friday. Marcelo is out for the long term. On the list was Luka Modrić, who had missed the training sessions on Thursday and Friday with permission because he had returned to Croatia to be with his wife Vanja, who gave birth to their second child.
As for the game, here are the usual data, curiosities and anecdotes via Mr. Chip.
Tradition: the derbi madrileño is the most played match-up in the history of Spanish football, if we take into account all official games, including the regional tournaments that predated the Liga. The two teams have faced each other in 246 official games: 151 first division games, 37 Copa games, four Copa de la Liga games, three European Cup games and 51 regional tournament games (Madrid, Castilla, Mancomunado). The Madrid-Barça match-up has been played 225 times (90-48-87).
The balance: of these 246 official games between Madrid and Atleti, Madrid has won 131, tied 55 and lost 60. Madrid has scored 433 goals, while Atleti has scored 317 for a total of 750. If we only consider the games played at the Calderón, Madrid has the advantage: 25 wins, 19 ties, 13 losses, and 88 goals in favor and 67 against, in 57 games.
Disadvantage: Atleti receives Madrid down three points in the table, something that hasn’t occurred since Feb. 24, 2007. That was the last time that Madrid didn’t win in the Calderón (1-1, with goals from Torres and Higuaín). If Atleti wins the game by scoring three or more goals than Madrid, it will move past Madrid in the table. The last time this happened following a derbi at the Calderón was on Jan. 11, 1976 (Madrid came in with a one-point advantage and lost 0-1).
Iker: he could play in his 26th derbi against Athleti today (18-6-1). From the time of his debut with Madrid, Iker has not missed one of the 25 official derbis played, playing 2,199 out of a possible 2,250 minutes. Madrid’s last loss against Atleti was also Iker’s derbi debut. He came off of the bench to fill in for Bizarri, who had been sent off with the game almost all but decided (1-3).
Between Champions League games: this will be Madrid’s third derbi to take place between two Champions League games. It happened for the first time in October 1999 (Olympiacos, Atlético, Molde) and again five months later (Dinamo de Kiev, Atlético, Rosenborg). Madrid did not win either of these derbis, losing the first one 1-3 and tying the second 1-1. In Europe, the team fared better, winning three out of those four games, including the decisive visit to Trondheim that qualified Madrid for the quarterfinals on the way to La Octava.
Cristiano: Cristiano ranks third on the list of highest scoring foreign players in the history of the derbi, with six goals. Puskas is first with nine and Ronaldo second with seven. Di Stéfano and Rubén Cano, who were both born in Argentina, scored 13 and 7, respectively, but they already had Spanish passports by then.
La Catedral: if Madrid loses tonight and Barcelona wins at San Mamés, Barcelona will become the third club to win the Liga at La Catedral, which at the moment only Athletic (six times) and Madrid (once) have done. It will also be the second Liga in a row to be decided mathematically at the same stadium, which last occurred in the 1990s, when Barça won three consecutive titles at the Camp Nou (1991-92 1992-93, 1993-94).
Mourinho: Mou is the first coach in the history of the derbi to have won seven consecutive games (five in the Liga, two in the Copa) and now he can become the first Madrid coach to win three consecutive Liga games at the Calderón, pushing him past Miguel Muñoz, Luxemburgo and Schuster, the only coaches to have done it during two consecutive games.
Losses: Mou has already lost 10 official games this season (five in the Liga, one in the Copa, three in the Champions and one in the Supercopa), which has never happened during his 13 years as a coach. In his three seasons in charge of Madrid, he has also had the new experience of receiving more than three goals in an official game: the 0-5 against Barça and the 1-4 against Dortmund.