Atlético Juvenil trained on a sunny afternoon in Nyon (Switzerland) on the grass of the Center Sportif de Colovray, which will host tomorrow two Youth League semi-finals, where the rojiblanco team will fight with Salzburg (18:00) for a place in Monday’s final (Benfica and Juventus play for the other place).
already with Javi Serrano and Carlos Martín with the groupalthough the former retired early after starting with the first team against Granada, Fernando Torres and Ricardo Ortega put the finishing touches on their team, with combination and finishing exercises, before facing one of the great favorites for the title. At the conclusion of the training, Ricardo Ortega attended AS to explain the sensations of the team a few hours after the most important game in its history.
“We come with great enthusiasm to face tomorrow a game that is very important for us and for the club. History has already been made, but we are not confirmed with having reached the semifinals. Now we have to compete the match, try to qualify for the final and then think about the final”. Despite the fact that the Austrian team defeated PSG in the quarterfinals, there is no fear among the mattress ranks. “We know that Salzburg is a great team, they have been having a great competition and can be similar to Dortmund on a conditional levelbut he has other qualities at a game level and we will try with our style and way of playing to impose ourselves on them”, explains Ricardo Ortega.
The coaching staff has to cope with the loss of Currás, author of the qualifying goal in Dortmund from the penalty spot, due to accumulation of warnings. “His loss is important, he has been having a great season, but we will put another player who will surely do just as well”. Of course, the reinforcements have already arrived and Javi Serrano joins after his ownership in the League. “For us as coaches and for the squad seeing a youth squad with the first team risking important things and betting on the boys gives them extra motivation. Having him here with Carlos Martín increases the illusion”.
Atlético has been recovering from adversity, after adding one point out of six in the first two days of the group stage that seemed to take them away from the chances of winning the title. “The beginning was not what we expected, it has never been easy to get here and starting in Milan was a turning point. Although we didn’t manage to win, we did add a point and we started to grow. Everything we have been doing in the Youth has brought us here”.
Finally, Ricardo Ortega is sure of what his team can do in this final four of maximum illusion. “All the games have been a great final, we have been facing it from end to end. Since Porto, which was the final in groups, games like this have been arriving. Croatia, Valdebebas, Dortmund… The boys are showing that they are prepared for all situations. Moments more subdued, others more dominating and we are confident and stable in moments of more dominance of the rival”.