Though Atlético Madrid enter Wednesday night’s game against Getafe looking to maintain its position as LaLiga leaders, the pre-game chatter has centered on a player whose time at Atlético came to an end on Tuesday.
“(Diego Costa)’s given us a lot, we’ve given him a lot,” Diego Simeone said in his pre-match availability. “He needs new challenges because he feels good, strong, (and) in form.
“Wherever he goes, he’ll do well, because he’s a fighter.”
Atlético confirmed it had terminated Costa’s contract Tuesday morning, less than 48 hours after AS reported the 32-year-old had asked for his release — six months ahead of schedule. Costa, citing personal reasons for his departure, was said to be disgruntled regarding his role in the team and upset that Atleti would not entertain letting him go to Sevilla next month.
“The club has been able to help him without being harmed, and that generates peace of mind,” Simeone said.
“We haven’t seen each other for a couple of days because Diego didn’t come to train while he was negotiating (his departure). The nicest thing that remains is that we can hug each other when we meet, (we can) celebrate and remember,” he said.
Disfrutar del fútbol a tu lado ha sido increíble. Gracias por tu garra y pasión. Juntos hemos vivido grandes batallas que serán inolvidables. Te deseo lo mejor, papai ❤️ pic.twitter.com/LKFvwGSobk— Koke Resurrección (@Koke6) December 29, 2020
While the club sorts out a replacement for Costa — rumored to be Napoli’s Arkadiusz Milik — Simeone will have his team ready to face José Bordalás’ Getafe. Though Atlético’s city rivals have taken a leap forward under Bordalás and played European football for the first time last year, they still haven’t snapped a lengthy dry spell in this fixture.
I mean, the statistics against Getafe since Simeone’s arrival as coach are simply astounding:
- Since a 3-2 loss under Gregorio Manzano’s stewardship on Nov. 6, 2011, Atlético have outscored Getafe 30-0 in league play (33-0 overall if one includes two Copa del Rey meetings from 2012).
- Atlético have won 14 of the past 15 league games against Getafe.
- Atlético have recorded 15 consecutive shutouts in LaLiga against Getafe (17 if you include the cup games in 2012).
“Getafe have not had positive results, but they have improved (lately),” Simeone said. “I cannot imagine a Getafe (tomorrow) different from the one that competes — whoever plays.”
Bordalás will be without key defenders Erick Cabaco and Damián Suárez, midfielder Allan Nyom, and forward Cucho Hernández through suspension. Meanwhile, Simeone will make do without Kieran Trippier, who is set to begin his 10-week ban for alleged betting violations. Šime Vrsaljko is set to make his first league start since February in his place.
“Hopefully the damage done to Atlético Madrid can be reviewed, because Atlético have nothing to do with this situation,” Simeone said. “We believe that the English Federation benefits, and we hope that (the ban) can be revised.”
Date Dec. 30, 2020
Location Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid
Kickoff time 7:15 p.m. CET, 6:15 p.m. GMT, 1:15 p.m. EST, 10:15 a.m. PST
Available TV/streaming Movistar+ (Spain), LaLiga TV (United Kingdom), beIN Sports (United States), ESPN2 Sur (Uruguay)