Atleti announce China friendlies

Atletico Madrid have confirmed that they will play three friendly matches in China this summer as part of their preparations for next season.

The news was announced by CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin, who also outlined Los Colchoneros’ plans to expand their training programme for Chinese youngsters from 30 players this year to 61 next term and over 100 by 2016.

“What is certain is that Atletico Madrid will travel to China in the summer,” he told QQ.

“The first game will be on July 28, while the others are scheduled for August 1 and 4, although the venues have not yet been finalised.

“One of our objectives is that the talents, who come over here as part of the Wanda project, will one day play for Atletico. I think it can be achieved.

“When you’ve been working at Atletico for 23 years, you get to know many players but only a few of their names.

“All of them have been good professionals, good players and talented, but the most important for me is to have a large and strong squad with a good mentality.

“Today, for me, our best player is [Diego] Simeone because he’s the only one who can get great performances out of our team.”

Chinese company Wanda – backed by billionaire media tycoon Wang Jianlin – purchased 20 percent of Atleti shares for €45m in January.

Tags China Diego Simeone Miguel Angel Gil Marin Wanda Wang Jianlin