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04.10.2007 18:51

Three well-known faces

Miriam Nadal

The Atlético Madrid squad includes three players that are very familiar to the Camp Nou faithful due to their Barça past: Luis García, Simao Sabrosa and Thiago Motta.

Three members of Javier Aguirre’s squad have a Barça past. All three of them joined Atlético Madrid this summer: Luis García from Liverpool, Simao Sabrosa from Benfica and Thiago Motta from Barça.

Luis García: wide experience

Luis_Garcxa_B-Athlxtic_17-01-04.jpgLuis García learnt his trade in the Barça youth squads and played centre forward in the Barça B side that won promotion in 97-98. During the 98-99 season, while still registered with Barça B, he played four matches with the senior squad, three friendlies and one competitive game – the Spanish Super Cup against Mallorca in the Lluis Sitjar on 18th August 1998.

He then had a number of loan spells with Valladolid, Toledo, Tenerife, and then once again Valladolid, with whom he made his first division debut.

He was transferred to Atlético Madrid in the 2002-03 season but Barça then exercised a buy-back clause in the deal to bring him back to the Camp Nou. He played 44 times for Barça, including 29 league matches, and scored 8 goals.

Despite enjoying the confidence of Frank Rijkaard, he accepted an offer from Liverpool on 20th August 2004. He spent three seasons with the English side until moving back to Atlético Madrid after suffering a serious injury.

Simao returns to La Liga

simao_atleti.jpgSimao Sabrosa joined Barça, then coached by Louis Van Gaal, from Sporting de Lisboa in the 1999-2000 season. He spent two seasons at the Club, playing 87 matches, 70 of them competitive, and scoring 8 goals. He then moved back to Portugal with Benfica.

Motta, injured

motta_atletico.jpgThe last of the three players to complete his move to Madrid was Thiago Motta. He will not be playing any part in this weekend’s game due to a serious knee injury. He had an operation on 18th September and is still far from ready to return to action.

Like Luis García, Motta is a product of the Barça youth academy. He left the Club this summer after forming part of the senior squad since 2001. He won two league medals, two Spanish Super Cups and one European Cup.
Three well-known faces

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