Wednesday July 23 2014
‘Solve two problems & Atleti are better’

Atletico Madrid President Enrique Cerezo has rejected concerns the side will struggle to live up to last season.

Instead, Cerezo said that once all is said and done, the champions will be better than they were last year and moved to put the fans’ minds at rest after some high-profile exits.

“10 players haven’t gone. Four have - Diego Costa, Filipe Luis, David Villa and Thibaut Courtois,” he stressed, according to AS.

“I don’t want to say it wrong but if we solve two problems we will enjoy a team better than last year.

“Last season wasn’t a miracle. It was a team effort, the Coach, the fans, the directors…it was a worldwide effort in which what we got was theoretically very difficult but in the end it was very easy.

“The punishment was not winning the European Cup.”

Cerezo added that as far as he is concerned, the big-name sales are at an end, particularly where Arda Turan and Miranda are concerned.

“Arda is not going to go partly because he only speaks Spanish and Turkish and therefore he is going to stay here,” Cerezo said.

“And Miranda is our best centre-back. A lot of people want him but we know what he is doing here and he is going to stay here.”

As well as outgoings, Atletico have been busy bringing in new faces, including Mario Mandzukic, with Cerezo revealing a little about the signing of the striker.

“Talks began for him weeks ago and everything came to a happy ending. He wants to play for Atletico,” Cerezo said of the former Bayern Munich forward.

“Bayern had other options and because the player is here with us it seems like that was the best. He’s one of the greatest strikers in Europe.

“Comparisons with Costa? I think they have two different styles. Costa is a fantastic player but Mandzukic is one of the players we wanted and our game is adapting.”

Football Italia website