There will not be a single official comment about it, but Atlético de Madrid are outraged with the national coach Luis Enrique. In the club they do not understand that he has not included Saúl is a Mario Hermoso in the extraordinary call that was carried out after detecting the positive for coronavirus of Sergio Busquets. Especially It hurts the absence of Hermoso and the presence of a player as veteran as Raúl Albiol, that it will be in fact who will enter the definitive list after the loss by covid at the last Diego Llorente placeholder image. It must be remembered that, despite their status as league champions, the rojiblancos only contribute two players to the Spanish team, Boil Y Marcos Llorente.
The story of Luis Enrique’s disagreements with Atlético de Madrid started after his appointment as coach after the World Cup in Russia. Koke was one of his first victims, disappearing from the calls overnight despite his undisputed status in Simeone’s team. More than two years it took the Madrid native to return, who had to wait until November 2020 to hear his name again on a selection list. He did not miss the opportunity and gained continuity after the extraordinary game he played against Germany in Seville, being one of the great figures in the 6-0 that Spain endorsed the four-time World Cup champion. Since then it has been fixed for the Asturian coach, who never came to explain why he had dispensed with him after the World Cup.
In that November 2020 call-up, Marcos Llorente appeared for the first time, who already in his new version of winger or midpoint won his presence in the national team in his own right, but there was another novelty, that of Alvaro Morata, whom Luis Enrique had repeatedly dispensed with during his short stage as rojiblanco. Now a new Juventus striker, the coach did not hesitate to re-fish him. “I have decided to summon Morata because since he has returned to Juventus you can see a different player with many aspects improved in attack and defense,” he said to explain his decision. At Atlético they understood absolutely nothing.
Another of Luis Enrique’s “victims” has been Saúl Ñíguez. The Alicante midfielder scored the first goal for Spain in the coach’s debut at Wembley against England and was fixed for some time, but disappeared after the 5-0 against Romania in November 2019 and has not returned. In his case, it can be understood that he has paid the consequences of his bad personal moment at Atlético, but even so it is difficult to explain that there was no space even between the reserves and that the coach has preferred Valencian Carlos Soler, Celtiña Brais Mendes or at the extreme of West Ham Pablo Fornals ahead of a Saúl who, let’s not forget, finished as a starter in the league champion.
However, Of all the cases, the one that has most unnerved Atlético de Madrid is that of Mario Hermoso. Hermoso has done a season adapting to a new position in a defense of five and providing the team with a clean output of the ball that has been one of the keys to the defense-attack transition that Simeone has put into practice. However, not once has he been called by Luis Enrique, who in all cases has preferred other options. In this scenario, the straw that broke the camel’s back has been the last minute call for Raul Albiol, 35 years old. Hermoso has been absent from the national team since September 2019. In fact, except for the first game, all the rojiblanco defender’s internationals were with Robert Moreno as a coach.
At Atlético they believe that Hermoso, Koke and Llorente should have been permanent and that Saúl should have occupied one of the five substitute places after the unexpected loss of Busquets. In the end, however, only Koke and Llorente will represent the rojiblanco club at the European Championship. The others will have to wait for another opportunity.