Cedrick backs Atleti for title

Real Betis’ Cedrick Mabwati says he is backing Atletico Madrid to be the team to break Barcelona and Real Madrid’s stranglehold on La Liga.

Los Colchoneros have begun the season strongly and are currently splitting the Clasico pair heading into Week 10’s fixtures, which pit them at home to Cedrick’s Betis.

“Since El Cholo [Diego Simeone] has arrived, things are going very well,” the 21-year-old has reflected this week to Mundo Deportivo.

“They have found the key. The players are like motors and it is noticeable on the field. They are a candidate to win the League.

“They are doing things right and they can go right through to the end. I see them as among the potential winners.

“In the Champions League it will be more complicated, because they have to compete in two-legged knockout ties. If I had to bet, I would bet that Atleti will win the League.”

The Congolese international developed as a youth with Los Colchoneros, but only made the one, unsuccessful appearance in a Copa del Rey defeat to Recreativo in January 2010, before developing at Numancia, where Betis picked him up from last summer.

“Even though things did not go well, the day of my debut for Atleti is one of the most beautiful memories that I have.

“It was not a happy day, I cannot deny, as things did not go well. But I achieved what I had been aiming for so long for, to play in the first team. It was not a dream debut, but to play in the first team was amazing.

“I learned a lot from that. Many years have since passed. I’ve played over 100 games at Numancia and that helped me to mature. Besides improving on technical and physical aspects. I owe Numancia a lot.

“Now? I’m happy, I’m going through the best time in my life at Betis. In the dressing room I have been welcomed, they are very normal people, very humble and they work very hard.

“Then there is the Coach, who I am learning much from. People I knew spoke highly of Pepe Mel. Now that I am around him, it is me speaking highly of him.”

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