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Atletico to face a reeling Granada

Granada has a rich cultural heritage but a winless football club

Club Atletico de Madrid v Granada CF - La Liga Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

In 1896, when Francisco Tarrega composed Recuerdos de la Alhambra, he could not even imagine that the piece would end up to be one of today’s most played within the global music community.

The opera, which was written after the Spanish guitarist paid a visit to Granada, emerged after he became overwhelmed by the artistic wealth of the city, which includes stunning monuments and gardens. He then offered the opera as a gift to Conchita de Jacoby with this inscription: "Since I cannot offer you a present of any worth on your birthday, accept this humble poetic impression, made on my soul by the grandiose marvel of the Alhambra of Granada we both admire."

Today LaLiga’s bottom club, Granada, is part of the heritage of the city, even when the club was struggling mightily in the Tercera Division. The Italian Pozzo family, who still owns Udinese Calcio, took control of the club and brought them back in Primera after a couple of promotions.

The current owners, the Chinese firm Link International Sports, funded last summer’s transfer window, which brought in 12 new signings as well as former Rayo Vallecano coach Paco Jemez - who was swiftly sacked after opening the season with two draws and four losses.

Among the main signings are Torino’s defender Gaston Silva, who is being watched by Antonio Conte’s Chelsea, and Manchester United midfielder Andreas Pereira, who has been one of the stars despite the unhappy start.

Earlier today, Granada’s manager Lucas Alcaraz said there must be an intense effort against a big team like Atlético Madrid and the strengths it has.

With regard to the match against Los Colchoneros, Alcaraz warned the team to stay focused, organized and attentive: “We have to put in practice what we have learnt hoping to get a positive result.”

Saturday’s visitors at the Calderon have never beaten at home, reporting a balance of 15 losses and a draw whilst the only time Granada have beaten Los Rojblancos in LaLiga was during the 1959-60 season.