Of the half-hundred rounds of Atlético's finals in their last three games (League and Champions), there were 15 who fell on the goal of Juventus, defended by the Polish Szczesny. And of those 15 shots in Turin, there was one, with the clock almost zero, that could have subtracted some tension from this last red and white episode in the group stage against Lokomotiv. Morata failed to finish the shipment of Correa. Nor was he able to add Leverkusen, with a hand in hand that could have settled the hieroglyph at the start of November.
So today Atlético, which accumulates just over 300 minutes with the crosshairs, is seen tonight (21.00) with the obligation to score, at least one goal, against the Russian team so that their future lives alien to what It happens at the same time in Germany (Bayer-Juve). The concern goes beyond sports. Because the good or bad that happens on the grass has a reflection in the coffers of the club. A slip of the Athletic one would suppose a bite to his pocket of, at least, 9.5 million . That fixed amount to overcome the group stage is contemplated in the budget that is prepared before the start of the season. The 2.7 kilos for the victory or even the 0.9 for the draw against Lokomotiv would give some more luster to their accounts. The Russians, who are already eliminated, have lost their last two league games.
In the offices they trust the classification but admit that an unforeseen event of such magnitude, as that of only two seasons ago, would upset the economic plan devised in summer. "It would be a great hole," they say from the entity, since, for example, part of that money has been destined since last summer: the signing of Morata. On July 1 they will have to pay 56 million to Chelsea after the agreement reached and that pinch (plus what could have been going beyond some phase more) would greatly ease the matter.
At Atlético nobody wants to hear about the word Europa League. Neither in the offices nor in the locker room. Landing again in the second continental competition would further tighten the calendar and not even the conquest of the title, as happened in 2018, would compensate for the premature elimination in the group stage. The juicy prizes distributed by the Champions League have been those that have economically promoted the club since the arrival of Simeone, after seven consecutive participations. The mantra of finishing among the top four of LaLiga remains an untouchable argument.
What happens tonight on the lawn of the Metropolitan, in addition, will also condition any possible movement of the club in the winter market. The possible search for a scorer to cushion the offensive hardships of the team could be suspended until July.
"Cheating match can be anyone if we do not enter as we have to enter," warned Oblak, second captain, who lived under the sticks of Stamford Bridge, facing Chelsea, the last stumble, in December 2017.
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- Atlético de Madrid
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