Spain’s heaviest snowfall in decades has forced Atletico Madrid’s game against Athletic Bilbao on Saturday to be postponed, LaLiga announced.
“With the exceptional situation due to the storm over a large part of the peninsular which has forced the Madrid-Barajas airport to close for the day, and the impossibility of providing a pitch in ideal conditions LaLiga, after discussions with the two clubs, has postponed the game”, the federation said.
The fixture was scheduled for 1515 GMT at the Spanish league leaders’ Wanda Metropolitano stadium.
A new date for the encounter will be published in the coming days, LaLiga’s statement added.
Athletic were unable to land in Madrid because of the extreme weather brought by Storm Filomena on Friday and had to return to Bilbao early in the evening.
The blizzards have caused chaos in Spain, with the capital’s airport closed, hundreds of motorists stranded, and more snow forecast Saturday.
Diego Simeone’s Atletico lead the table by two points from city rivals Real with two games in hand.
“It is a great privilege & joy for me to be joining Atletico Madrid Feminino. It is an opportunity I will never take for granted, and I am ready to give my all to push this great club to even greater heights.
“Thank you to God, my family, friends, and supporters for the unending love shown towards me so far. It is a huge step in my career and I am looking forward to this great challenge with @atletifemenino.
“Great way to start the new year,” Ajibade tweeted.
It is a great privilege & joy for me to be joining Atletico Madrid Feminino. It is an opportunity I will never take for granted, and I am ready to give my all to push this great club to even greater heights. pic.twitter.com/1Ep7IS1WQ1
Costa arrived at Atletico in 2006 at the age of 17, going on to play 215 matches over two spells (2010-14 and then 2018-20) either side of three seasons at Chelsea, scoring 83 goals and providing 36 assists.
During his time at Atletico, Costa was part of a squad that won one La Liga title in the 2013-14 season, one Copa del Rey (2013), one Europa League (2018) and two UEFA Super Cups (2010 and 2018).
“The club thanks Diego Costa for his dedication during these years and wishes him well in the next stage of his professional career,” the club said.
Under-pressure Zinedine Zidane said Real Madrid’s 1-0 win at Sevilla on Saturday, their first in La Liga since October, was significant after a testing recent period for the Frenchman.
Sevilla goalkeeper Bono guided Vinicius Junior’s effort into his own net in the second half, allowing Zidane’s side to move up to third in the table following two defeats in their past three games.
“These are three very important points for us. It’s a well-deserved win, against a very good opponent, who can put you in trouble at any time. We got through this,” Zidane said.
“It has been a bit difficult lately, today we have to enjoy it, be happy, but nothing more,” he added.
Since Madrid crashed to a 2-0 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek to leave their Champions League qualification hopes in the balance, press reports in Spain have linked former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino and ex-Madrid forward Raul to Zidane’s job.
Zidane made two changes from the debacle in Ukraine with Casemiro and Vinicius replacing Martin Odegaard and Marco Asensio.
Ex-Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui brought back Bono into the starting lineup after he missed four games with coronavirus which included Wednesday’s heavy European defeat to Chelsea.
Morocco’s Bono made a shaky start as his attempted clearance inside his own box was blocked by Vinicius.
He made up for the error on his own line despite Karim Benzema’s efforts.
The former Girona keeper kept the sides equal at the break with a tidy save from Benzema’s 38th-minute shot, but his crucial mistake came 10 minutes into the second half.
Ferland Mendy played a low cross into the area before Vinicius slid in to guide it towards the goal.
Bono came out to close the space but deflected Vinicius’ limp attempt into his own goal.
The hosts’ Suso, making his first appearance since late October, and Lucas Ocampos had late chances to equalise but Zidane’s men held on for a morale-boosting win before Wednesday’s crucial Champions League group game against Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Later, Atletico Madrid, unbeaten in the Spanish top-flight this season and in-form forward Joao Felix can go above surprise leaders Real Sociedad and take top spot as they host Real Valladolid, while Barcelona head to Cadiz.
Sociedad, who have lost just once in the league this term, travel to Deportivo Alaves on Sunday.
Arsenal’s move for Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey is expected to be the biggest deal of transfer deadline day, while Edinson Cavani is on the verge of a move to Manchester United.
Partey has been a long-term target for the Gunners, who have reportedly matched his 50 million euro (£45 million, $59 million) buyout clause to bolster their threadbare midfield options.
The Ghanian has made 188 appearances for the Spanish giants and was part of the Atletico sides that reached the 2016 Champions League final and beat Arsenal on the way to winning the Europa League in 2018.
Uruguayan international Lucas Torreira is expected to go the other way from Arsenal to Atletico on a season-long loan deal.
Arsenal have made an impressive start to the season, winning three of their opening four Premier League games, as they aim to return to the Champions League next season for the first time in five years.
However, the Londoners have been short in central midfield with Mesut Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi, who has joined Hertha Berlin on a season-long loan, frozen out by Mikel Arteta.
United, scrambling for reinforcements after their 6-1 defeat to Tottenham on Sunday, are expected to make more signings, with Dutch international midfielder Donny van de Beek their only addition before Monday.
Brazilian international left-back Alex Telles has joined from Porto for an initial fee of £13.5 million.
“He is a player we have been tracking for some time and his performances over the past few years are exactly what we are looking for,” said United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“He is a fighter and a winner and will add real determination and competition to the squad.”
Former Paris Saint-Germain striker Cavani is reportedly close to joining on a two-year deal as a free agent.
After a forlorn chase of Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, United are also interested in adding two teenage wingers — Amad Traore of Atalanta and Penarol’s Facundo Pellistri.
However, neither is expected to make an instant impact on the first-team should deals be completed.
Premier League table-toppers Everton signed centre-back Ben Godfrey for a reported initial fee of £25 million.
But Theo Walcott is on the way out of Goodison Park for a return to Southampton on loan, whom he left as a 16-year-old to join Arsenal in 2006.
Tottenham’s Ryan Sessegnon has also joined the growing batch of young English players in the Bundesliga with a season-long loan move to Hoffenheim.
– Quiet window for European giants –
According to a report by the Centre for Economics Business Research, Premier League clubs were on course for an astonishing 95 percent of the net spend in Europe’s big five leagues this transfer window.
Barcelona’s accounts for the 2019/20 season showed the drastic impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on even the world’s richest clubs as the Catalans posted 97 million euro losses.
However, some of Europe’s giants were busy on the final day.
Juventus secured one of the hottest properties in Italian football as Federico Chiesa joined from Fiorentina on a two-year loan deal worth 10 million euros with an obligation to buy if certain conditions are met for a further 40 million.
Bayern Munich added a trio of new players as Douglas Costa returned to the Allianz Arena for a second spell on loan from Juventus.
The European champions also signed former PSG striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting on a one-year deal and Bouna Sarr from Marseille.
Lionel Messi bid an emotional farewell on Friday to Luis Suarez, the day after the Uruguayan striker had said tearful goodbyes to Barcelona after the club sent him to Atletico Madrid.
“Today I went into the dressing room and the awful truth hit me,” Messi posted on Instagram, before renewing his criticism of club management.
“You deserved to be sent off as what you are: one of the most important players in the history of the club,” Messi wrote. “And not to be fired in the way they did it.”
“The truth is that at this point nothing surprises me anymore.”
Messi has a long-running feud with club president Josep Maria Bartomeu which intensified after Barcelona were humiliated 8-2 by Bayern in a Champions League quarter-final in August.
Messi tried to force his exit from Barcelona but finally accepted that he would have to see out the final year of his contract. Meanwhile, two of his closest friends on the team, Suarez and the Chilean Arturo Vidal have left.
The 33-year-old Suarez moves to Atletico on a two-year contract on a free transfer, although, if he does well, Barcelona could receive some money.
Suarez, who hit 198 goals for Barca, becoming the third highest goalscorer in the history of the club, cried as he bid an impromptu farewell to the club on Thursday.
“I’m going to keep playing, with fresh motivation, with the objective to show I can continue competing,” Suarez said.
“Everyone knows the relationship we have, Leo and me. I’ve already played against him in the Uruguay-Argentina matches, playing against each other is not going to change the feelings we have for each other,” Suarez said.
Messi and Suarez were neighbours in the beachside suburb of Castelldefels and would arrive at training together.
“How difficult it is going to be not to continue to share the days with you, both on the pitch and off it” wrote Messi in a post accompanied by seven pictures of the two men together, sometimes with their families. “We are going to miss you very much. It’s been many years, many cups of mate, lunches, dinners…Many things that I will never forget.”
“It’s going to be weird to see you with another shirt and much more to face you,” wrote Messi. “But I wish you all the best in this new challenge. I love you very much, I love you very much. See you soon, my friend.”
Uruguay captain Diego Godin has signed for Cagliari from Serie A rivals Inter Milan on a three-year deal, both clubs announced on Thursday.
“Cagliari Calcio are pleased to announce the signing of Diego Godin from Inter,” the Sardinian club said in a statement.
“The Uruguayan defender has signed an agreement that ties him to the Rossoblu until June 30, 2023.”
Godin, 34, joined Inter Milan in 2019 after nine seasons with Atletico Madrid where he was captain and won La Liga in 2014 and two Europa League titles in 2012 and 2018.
“Inter Milan can confirm that defender Diego Godin has signed for Cagliari Calcio on a permanent basis,” Inter said in a statement.
“The Club would like to thank the player for the professionalism and commitment he displayed during his time with the Nerazzurri and wishes him all the best as he begins the next stage of his professional career.”
Luis Suarez cried as he bid farewell to Barcelona on Thursday but said he wants to prove he can still deliver at the highest level after joining La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid.
With Lionel Messi at Camp Nou for his best friend’s final press conference, Suarez said an emotional goodbye after scoring 198 goals for Barca, becoming the third-highest goalscorer in the history of the club.
“This is improvised because I have nothing prepared,” Suarez said wiping his eyes, having been introduced by the club’s president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
The 33-year-old’s move to Atletico on a two-year contract had been confirmed late on Wednesday night. Atletico have signed Suarez for free but could pay Barcelona 6 million euros ($6.9 million) in variables.
“I feel I’m capable of continuing to compete in this league,” Suarez said. “I feel very eager and even more after the last year we had, when I had my injury, which also leaves you with a bittersweet feeling.
“I am going the way I’m going to keep playing, with fresh motivation, with the objective to show I can continue competing.”
Suarez follows Arturo Vidal, Nelson Semedo and Ivan Rakitic through the exit door at Barcelona, where new coach Ronald Koeman has been tasked with renovating the squad.
Koeman told Suarez in August he was not part of the club’s plans.
“I expected it because it had been said already before the coach told me but I can accept it,” he said.
“When Barca told me they weren’t counting on me, there were many calls, many offers, but I was able to go to a team that can compete as equals with two great teams like Barcelona and Real Madrid. I had no doubts.”
Suarez will go down as one of Barcelona’s greatest ever players after helping them win four La Liga titles and a Champions League.
But his departure has not been smooth, with the club keen to push the Uruguayan out but reluctant to let him join Atletico.
“Players sometimes need a change, the club needed a change and this case the coach didn’t want me,” Suarez said. “I leave with the feeling that I have fulfilled expectations. To be the third highest scorer is not easy at all, it’s something I could never have imagined.”
Suarez’s departure could affect Messi’s future given the pair are neighbours and best friends. There have been reports in Spain suggesting Messi and Suarez’s friendship was no longer considered beneficial to the team.
“It’s been a crazy month,” said Suarez. “Things have been invented, things that are not true that have been leaked and that annoy you but we have to try to stay away from all that.
“Everyone knows the relationship I have with Leo. When you arrive at Barcelona they say to be careful with Leo and now after many years, Leo and I get along spectacularly and they say you are bad for him.
“We know the time we had in the team and that we tried to perform at our best and live up to what Barcelona is and in my case, I can leave feeling proud.”
Spanish striker Alvaro Morata on Tuesday returned to Juventus on loan from Atletico Madrid, the Turin club announced.
The much-travelled Morata, who is 27, played for Juventus from 2014-2016, scoring 27 goals in 93 appearances.
He graduated through the youth system at Real Madrid and had two stints at the club either side of his first spell at Juventus. He also had a spell at Chelsea before joining Atletico, initially on loan
He has joined Juventus on a season-long loan, which will cost 10 million euros (11.7 million dollars), the club said.
“He will be part of this year’s team, with an option for a one-year extension to the loan, plus an option to buy,” said Juventus on their web site, adding that the transfer fee would be 45 million euros, in three annual payments of 15 million euros, while a loan extension would cost 10 million euros at the end of which Juventus would have another option to buy, for 35 million euros.
“There’s nothing more exciting than a homecoming and the return of Alvaro Morata to Turin is a beautiful one at that!” said Juventus.
After Gonzalo Higuain left for Miami last week, Juve’s new coach, Andrea Pirlo, needed a solid centre-forward. The club was linked to Barcelona’s Luis Suarez and Roma’s Edin Dzeko but Morata, who played with Pirlo in his first spell at club, has arrived instead.
Spanish media immediately speculated that Morata’s departure could clear the way for Atletico to recruit Suarez.
Morata scored in both legs in the 2015 Champions League semi-finals as Juventus beat one of his former clubs, Real Madrid, 3-2 on aggregate.
He then scored a second-half equaliser in the final before goals by Suarez and Neymar gave Barcelona a 3-1 victory.
His last goal for Juventus was the winner in the 2016 Copa Italia final against AC Milan, when he came off the bench 18 minutes into extra time and scored two minutes later.
“Even though Alvaro left the club four years ago, after having won five trophies in two years: two Scudetti, two Italian Cups, one Italian Super Cup, he has always remained Bianconero in his heart and his return will be as though he never even said goodbye.
Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has tested positive for Covid-19, the club announced on Saturday.
Simeone, 50, is isolated at home and has not presented symptoms.
Atletico’s squad and staff returned early from a pre-season trip to Los Angeles de San Rafael just outside Madrid after a test on Thursday came back positive. Further tests on Friday showed Simeone had caught the virus.
“The analysis of these new samples in the laboratory has determined that our trainer, Diego Pablo Simeone, has given a positive result for Covid-19,” read the club statement.
“Fortunately, our coach does not present any symptoms and is at his home isolated and fulfilling the corresponding quarantine after being with the team since last Monday.”
Simeone was absent from training on Saturday. Atletico’s first La Liga match against Granada is not scheduled to be played until September 27 as the club have been given extra time off before starting the season.
United States midfielder Tyler Adams basked in the glory of scoring Leipzig’s late winner against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals on Thursday and admitted: “I am not your typical goal scorer.”
Leipzig, who were only founded in 2009, reached the semi-finals for the first time with a 2-1 win over Atletico, twice runners-up.
They will face Paris Saint-Germain for a place in the final.
Holding midfielder Adams scored the winner in the 88th minute, his first goal for the club, after a Joao Felix penalty had cancelled out Dani Olmo’s opener for Leipzig.
“I am not your typical goal scorer, but I am happy I could help the team,” said Adams, who came on as a substitute.
Adams’ effort came after his fired shot took a cruel deflection of Stefan Savic and flew in.
“Coming into this game, I was told I wasn’t starting but needed to be ready to come off the bench and make an impact, so I had to get myself in the right mindset to come out and help in anyway possible,” added the 21-year-old.
“We are really excited, we know Paris Saint-Germain are a good team and we saw that yesterday what they did against Atalanta, with the players they had on the field, so we need to match that energy.
“Now it’s about recovering in the right way, getting our mentality and preparing a game plan, but we are confident in our abilities like you saw today and we will bring what we are capable of.”