• Spain's news in English

Real to show off new signings in Atletico clash

AFP · 19 Aug 2014, 09:28

Published: 19 Aug 2014 09:28 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"We have to try to compete with Sevilla, Valencia and Athletic Bilbao for the Champions League places," he claimed on Monday ahead of his side's Spanish Super Cup first-leg against Real on Tuesday.

"With €95 million we have signed nine players, Real Madrid have signed two players for 95 million. That is the difference."

The other major difference is that success has also brought Atletico the struggle of holding onto their best players. Top scorer Diego Costa and Filipe Luis have joined Thibaut Courtois in returning to his parent club Chelsea after a three-year loan spell in the Spanish capital.

That money has been reinvested in a promising attacking trio of Antoine Griezmann, Mario Mandzukic and Raul Jimenez, but the major coup of the close season for Atletico has been holding onto the likes of Koke, Diego Godin and Miranda despite interest from Barca and Bayern Munich.

By contrast, Real have splashed over €100 million on the squad that won both the Champions League and Copa del Rey last season without having to sanction any significant sales, although Angel di Maria could exit before the end of the transfer window.

An already oversubscribed midfield has been bolstered by World Cup winner Toni Kroos and the competition's top goalscorer James Rodriguez, whilst Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas will rival Iker Casillas to be number one.

"I think we have a better team than last season because we have signed three players that add quality to the team," Real coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Monday.

Of the three title contenders, though, it is Barcelona who have undergone the most significant change as they look to bounce back from a first trophyless season in six years.

The first change at the Camp Nou over the summer was the coach as they turned to former captain Luis Enrique to replace Gerardo Martino in the hope he can have the same impact as his former teammate Pep Guardiola did in charge.

With a two transfer window ban only temporarily suspended, Barca have also been very active in the market with the capture of controversial Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez leading their 150 million euro outlay.

Suarez won't even be able to play until late October after his appeal against a four-month ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup was rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport last week.

However, he could return for a mouth-watering first El Clasico clash between Real and Barca at the Santiago Bernabeu should the game be scheduled for Sunday, October 26.

Enrique's main task will be finding a blend for all of Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar to function together as all three look to shake off a disappointing end to their respective World Cups.

Story continues below…

For all their attacking talent, questions also remain over Barca's defence despite the expensive recruitment of Jeremy Mathieu from Valencia and Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen. Goalkeepers Claudio Bravo and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen will also battle to succeed the departed Victor Valdes as number one after being signed for €12 million apiece.

Outside of the big three, Europa League winners Sevilla have made the most significant moves in a bid to get back into the Champions League as they have brought in Barca loanee Gerard Deulofeu, Argentine international Ever Banega and Liverpool reject Iago Aspas.

Valencia should also be back in contention for the top four after Singaporean businessman Peter Lim finally completed his takeover of the club with Spanish under-21 international striker Rodrigo their big name signing of the summer.

Meanwhile, Basque duo Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad retain ambitions of Champions League football despite losing Ander Herrera and Griezmann to Manchester United and Atletico respectively.

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain under pressure to stop refuel of Russian warships
Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is due to arrive in Ceuta. Photo: Mil Ru / Wikimedia

Spain is facing international pressure to refuse permission for a Russian warship flotilla to refuel in Ceuta en route to continuing airstrikes against the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Most wanted: Fugitive rapist arrested in Tenerife
Mohammed Jahangir Alam was arrested n Tenerife. Photo: Crimestoppers.

Mohammed Jahangir Alam, one of Britain's most wanted fugitives, who fled the country in 2008 after allegedly raping a woman, was found working in Tenerife.

Spain's Rajoy says king has tasked him with forming govt
Photo: AFP

Spain's king on Tuesday tasked Mariano Rajoy with forming a government, taking the acting conservative prime minister a step closer to power again after a 10-month political deadlock.

Two imams arrested in Ibiza resort over 'Isis support'
The men were arrested in the resort of Sant Antoni de Portmany. Photo: Jose A / Flickr

Two Moroccan imams at a mosque on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of backing the Islamic State group and inciting jihad.

Balearic Islands choose to keep summertime forever
The islands will have longer evenings during winter. Photo: AFP

The Balearic Islands want to keep summertime when the rest of Spain turns the clocks back on Sunday.

  Brazilian had 'uncontrollable desire to kill': Spain police
Francois Patrick Nogueira Gouveia has been charged with murdering his uncle, his wife and their two children. Photo: Guardia Civil.

A Brazilian teenager accused of dismembering his uncle and aunt and killing their two young sons in a grisly crime that shocked Spain had an "uncontrollable desire to kill", police said on Monday.

Man rescued from bin after climbing in to find old clothes
Photo: Policía Local Murcia

Police were called after passersby reported hearing a man calling for help from within a rubbish bin in the Vistabella neighbourhood of Murcia, southern Spain.

Spain faces crucial week as conservatives re-take power
Mariano Rajoy hopes to form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain entered a crucial week as acting conservative PM Mariano Rajoy prepared to re-take power, ending ten rollercoaster months without government marked by hope and disillusion.

Eight very creepy Halloween costumes ideas from Spain
Photo: Pan's Labyrinth

Forget flamenco dancers and bullfighters, The Local counts down the freakiest alternative costume ideas to dress up in this Halloween.

Man attacked by racist thug in UK street for talking Spanish

Tomas Gil, 27, from Valencia in eastern Spain was talking to his girlfriend in their native language after a night out in the British seaside town of Poole when he was set upon by a racist thug.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available