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Atletico team cleared to travel for Champions League

Angel Correa and Sime Vrsaljko have tested positive for coronavirus, results came back negative for everyone else
In this May 5, 2020 file photo, two women wearing face masks pass by a giant poster of Atletico Madrid soccer players at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Spain.
In this May 5, 2020 file photo, two women wearing face masks pass by a giant poster of Atletico Madrid soccer players at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Spain.
AP

Agencies   |   Madrid   |   Published 11.08.20, 01:38 AM

Atletico Madrid said on Monday that Angel Correa and Sime Vrsaljko have tested positive for the coronavirus but the rest of the squad has been cleared to make the trip to Portugal for the Champions League quarter finals.

The team announced the two positive tests on Sunday but had not identified who were infected. They said the entire squad was re-tested and results came back negative for everyone else on Monday.

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Atletico will face Leipzig on Thursday. They will be travelling to Portugal on Tuesday.

Diego Simeone’s side are glowing with confidence after knocking holders Liverpool out in March and going on a resurgent run of form at the end of the season, with their top players in peak condition.

“Beating the champions raises your confidence but we know no one will make things easy for us and we have to continue as we were after lockdown,” said midfielder Koke.

They are also in the easier side of the draw and safe in the knowledge that their bete noire, Real Madrid, who beat Atletico in the 2014 and 2016 finals and knocked them out in 2015 and 2017, are no longer in the competition.

While Atletico will not be taking Leipzig lightly, facing the Germans and a potential last-four meeting with Paris St Germain or Atalanta is certainly preferable to playing Barcelona, Bayern Munich or Manchester City, who along with Olympique Lyonnais, make up the other side of the draw.

This has been an eventful season for Atletico, who at one stage looked as if they would be lucky to make it into La Liga’s top four as they struggled to cope with the departure of talismanic figures Antoine Griezmann and Diego Godin.

But their twin victories over Liverpool proved a turning point and the team were relentless when the season resumed, winning seven of their 11 league matches to finish third.

Atleti’s resurgence has been propelled by an unlikely figure in Marcos Llorente, who made a thrilling transformation from defensive midfield to attack, slaying Liverpool before leading the team’s forward line after the restart.

With Simeone drilling them from the sidelines, Atletico have all the ingredients to avenge their recent heartbreak in the competition.



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