The 23 of Matheus Cunha

Cunha celebra un gol al Getafe.

Matheus Cunha is celebrating. The striker turns 23 years old, having just finished a season in which he has managed to carve out a niche for himself in Atlético’s lead despite having to deal with multiple setbacks. The Brazilian has had a recipe to solve them until the end of the course as the starting point for Simeone: work and more work. And he may have the role model in a Diego Costa whom he visited at the beginning of his vacations, perhaps to collect recipes for the success of rojiblanco.

For a start, Cunha arrived at Atlético at the last minute of the summer marketformalizing its incorporation on August 25 with two League games already played. The mattress club had not managed to close Vlahovic and opted for a Cunha with different characteristics, less in the area, without as much definition, but with mobility and quality to play in the second line. He signed with a handicap compared to his teammates upstairs: he lacked that complicated adaptation to Simeone’s style and a preseason that he had barely been able to carry out at Hertha in Berlin after having left some extraordinary Olympic Games, hanging the gold around his neck with a goal against Spain in the final included.


Photo by Matheus Cunha

Cunha appeared with the ’19’ on his back, but the medical examination revealed an injury carried over from the championship in Japan. Some inconvenience that did not prevent him from making his debut against Villarreal together before an international break… in which Griezmann’s signing was closed. The door to the minutes was even more complicated for the Brazilian, who had to compete with the Frenchman, Luis Suárez, João Félix and Correa for a place above. But Cunha took it naturally. He started as the fifth striker in the squad, but he would seek to earn options in each training session.

Always with a good face and a lot of energyhis entrance to the field used to coincide with an improvement in the team’s results. After debuting as a scorer on October 28 against Levante, Cunha was counting more and more in Simeone’s schemes. On December 4, the first ownership came days after being exhibited in Cádiz. The Brazilian complied and opened the scoring (his third goal), but on his way out he saw how Mallorca came back from the match. Cunha was taking advantage of his entrances to the field, the casualties up and in February he was already a regular, either revolutionizing from the bench or starting as a starter… until against Levante a fall by Duarte on his knee made fear the worst.

Diego Costa and Matheus Cunha.

The breakage was resolved, but it was time to start over and carve out his space again after a month and a half off due to a high-grade sprain. But, once again, Cunha was working and adding energy in each entrance to the field. Atlético ended up getting a third place that for a good part of the course seemed very complicated and Cunha started three of the team’s last four games, all except against Sevilla where he left room for Luis Suárez’s farewell. The Brazilian has been adapting to the point of attack and left a good role in the derby against Real Madrid, scored in Elche and the crossbar prevented him from repeating in San Sebastián, where it grew with the passing of the minutes. Still 23 years old, Cunha is one of Atlético’s great future assets. Looking ahead to the next season, he will compete on an equal footing with his teammates, He will be able to get in tune from the summer and he wants 2022-23 to be his first great campaign. Mimbres has shown to have for it.


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