• James and Llorente. Between Simeone's wish and Zidane's trial
  • Zidane and the village team. "Here people also get up early and work"

It was the dream of a summer night for some and a suffocating nightmare of July for others. That first Madrid derby in the United States, that first date in a preseason between Atlético and Real Madrid. From New Jersey Zidane's Real Madrid was badly wounded, it was finally confirmed that James Rodriguez would not change neighborhood and the planet began to take those new boys that Simeone was starting to model seriously. All that, and something else, happened on the other side of the puddle, two months ago.

That something else includes that explosion with Diego Costa's goal poker and the subsequent bite with Carvajal that ended both in the locker room. They have not crossed again on a lawn since that day because the nose of the striker, who seemed to suddenly recover all his youth at Metlife Stadium, has never been a shadow of that. Hence, they have not been able to solve this conflict in the concentration with the Spanish team. In the third Metropolitan derby, they will have time to settle accounts.

"We are working with Diego so that he can improve," Simeone admitted, just before Costa broke his drought in Mallorca last Wednesday. A firm header that didn't want to scream in the wind, but that put Zidane and his boys on guard, aware of how they usually spend them. Not only for that friendly traumatic, but also for the European Super Cup that Atlético pocketed with its double in Tallinn (2018). It is no accident that his most thunderous blows in these two irregular years since his return have been against Real Madrid.

"What happened happened"

Zidane has tried to forget and make his players forget that night in New Jersey. "We haven't seen anything from that game," the French coach recalled. "What happened, happened," he added, trying to completely close an unexpected wound from that inopportune win. And although the doubts have not disappeared completely (the PSG was responsible for airing them in the Champions League), Real Madrid visits the Wanda Metropolitano as leader of the classification. Although with a single point of distance over an Atlético who in just a month and a half of competition has also had his moments of doubt.

On that American lawn, more accustomed to the NFL stomps, they walked with very different pulsations their two million-dollar bets. Joao Felix began to wake up with his first goal as a rojiblanco and the evidence that his connection with Diego Costa was already special. Eden Hazard, who began shooting blank, had time to leave one of her pearls. «He is a type of player who is prepared for this type of matches. Everyone expects much more from him, ”said Zidane, an orphan in the Belgian class at the start of LaLiga because of a muscle injury. Hence, he could only play 190 minutes and still have his personal locker at zero.

The minutes of the boy Joao Félix (19 years) have been multiplied by the absences of Álvaro Morata, also out of the derby by the absurd red of Son Moix. "I talked to Álvaro about what I think of his hierarchy in the field," Simeone said of the double yellow that prevents him from betting on his trident again. Morata's injury at the start of the season has allowed the Portuguese star to become the sixth player in the squad that has been on the field for the longest time: 539. No sign of the famous Simeone mili who led others like Griezmann, who will have to forget, not to gain ownership until December. Felix has already been able to celebrate two goals and has given another to Vitolo. He also left speechless in his stands with slalons of a special footballer.

Those more than 200 million invested in summer by Atlético and Real Madrid will be tonight (9 pm) running around the grass. Only the two of them account for almost half of the expenditure made by the two teams to rebuild their own spirit. The Belgian will be the only white start signing. Felix, Trippier and Lodi, except surprise, will try to sign the first victory of Atletico in a derby in the Metropolitan (tie and defeat).

"We always learn from everything, there are things to improve by winning and losing," Simeone admitted, mentally reviewing the flashes of that summer night in New Jersey, where his new Atlético mercilessly engulfed Real Madrid of Zidane. A blush without swag in between that tonight will have a point and apart. Some of those wounds of that crazy summer night may come to light today.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

Know more

  • Diego Costa
  • Joao Felix
  • European Super Cup
  • James Rodriguez
  • Eden Hazard
  • Dani Carvajal
  • sports
  • football
  • Zinedine Zidane
  • Diego Simeone
  • Atlético de Madrid
  • Real Madrid

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