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QUIQUE FLORES SACKED




Atletico Madrid have today confirmed long standing rumours that Quique Flores, the manager of the club, has been sacked following disagreements with the board. In a brief statement, the club directors also said that they would be announcing a replacement soon for the old manager.

Speculations are doing the rounds that Zinedine Zidane, Jurgen Klinnsmann, Frank Rijkaard and Mark Hughes may all be in the running for the job at the Vicente Calderon.



ZINEDINE ZIDANE AS ATLETICO BOSS?



Real Madrid scout Zinedine Zidane was today spotted at a local Madrid restaurant with Atletico Madrid director Enrique Cerezo at midday. This could be a strong indication that the Real man, who is currently rumoured to be at odds with manager Jose Mourinho, could take charge at Atletico Madrid.

Though Cerezo refused to comment, Zidane went on the record earlier, a few days ago, saying "I would be extremely interested if Atletico hands the job to me. They are a rising club and it would suit me to work for them."

A few Days Later...




STEVE BRUCE CONFIRMED AS ATLETICO MANAGER...



Steve Bruce, the legendary Sunderland manager, was today confirmed as the new manager of Atletico Madrid. Speaking of his delight, the Englishman was said to have been honoured to be part of the Atletico setup. Sunderland have been paid an undisclosed amount as compensation.

Bruce has stated that his immediate priorities are setting things straight in the troubled Atletico camp, then strengthening the side with quality signings.

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Three Weeks Later...



ATLETICO GO ON A SIGNING SPREE; ANNOUNCE EIGHT HIGH PROFILE SIGNINGS FIVE DAYS BEFORE SEASON BEGINS



Steve Bruce showed what he meant by rebuilding the squad when he announced the signing of eight high-profile players from various clubs across Europe. He said that though the announcement was made only five days before the Atletico squad started their pre-season campaign, the players were there for well abve two weeks in the training camp held at Cadiz.

The signings are:

Eden Hazard (From LOSC Lille Metropole)
Adil Rami (From LOSC Lille Metropole)
Khouma Babacar (From Fiorentina)
Vaclav Kadlec (From Sparta Prague)
Gareth Barry (From Manchester City)
Luis Suarez (From Ajax Amsterdam)
Mahatma Otoo (From ES Tunis)
Antunes (From AS Roma)


Bruce said that the budget had been stretched to it's limit and no more players will be bought. And to balance the books, Bruce stated that Atletico Madrid had sold two of their players.

Diego Costa (To Bayern Munich)
Paolo Assuncao (To Manchester City)


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PRESEASON RESULTS (ATLETICO MADRID)



Atletico 2-0 Arsenal FC
(Diego Forlan, Adil Rami)

Atletico 5-0 CFR Cluj
(Diego Godin, Luis Suarez (X2), Sergio Aguero (X2))

Atletico 2-2 Roma
(Diego Forlan, Adil Rami)-(Francesco Totti, Mirko Vucinic)

Atletico 0-0 Lazio

Atletico 4-1 Feyenoord
(Simao, Diego Godin, Raul Garcia, Sergio Aguero)-(Luc Castaignos)

Atletico 1-0 Rangers
(Diego Forlan)

Atletico 0-0 Fiorentina

"I was generally delighted with pre-season. Luis Suarez, Barry, Forlan, Aguero, Rami, Kadlec and the rest of the team seemed to be in damned good form. A few unlucky draws with Fiorentina, Lazio and Roma but otherwise a highly pleasing performance. I need to see if it translates into a good performance on the pitch against Inter in the Super Cup."
-Steve Bruce, Manager, Atletico Madrid.

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F.C. INTERNAZIONALE 0
ATLETICO MADRID 1
(Simao 72')

Hats off to the boys. They performed brilliantly. Everybody from David De Gea till Luis Suarez have proved their mettle on the big stage. And great play by Eden today to assist Simao in his goal. The defence looked rock solid today, and Adil Rami led by example.

Line up (Atletico Madrid): De Gea, Rami, Ujfalusi, Dominguez,Lopez,Mario Suarez, Gareth Barry, Jose Antonio Reyes, Simao, Diego Forlan, Sergio Aguero.


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ATLETICO MADRID 3
(Adil Rami, Sergio Aguero, Raul Garcia)
SPORTING GIJON 1
(Mate Bilic)



Another good performance from the lads keeping up with the level we showed against Inter. Many of the boys who played against Inter were rested. Good improvement shown by Aguero who was a disappointment against Inter a few days ago. Rami looked solid as ever and Eden Hazard came off the bench and did pretty well. If we keep going this way even against the big teams, I think we can have a fair shot at the La Liga itself.

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EUROPA LEAGUE GROUP D

Aston Villa (ENG)
Atletico Madrid (ESP)

AEK Athens (GRE)
FC Utrecht (NED)

A nice group. Gives me a chance to visit England again sometime later when I take on Aston Villa.
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Next Three Fixtures:

Athletic Bilbao
vs. Atletico Madrid (La Liga)
Atletico Madrid vs. Aston Villa (Europa League)
Atletico Madrid vs. FC Barcelona (La Liga)
 
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