Former Atlético coach Dani González, in a game with the rojiblanco team last December at the Ciudad Deportiva Wanda, in Alcalá de Henares (Madrid). Irina R. Hipolito / Europa Press via .
A day before meeting Barça in the semifinals of the Spanish Super Cup (19.00, Teledeporte), the female Atlético de Madrid announced that they are dismissing Dani González as coach. The club announced on Tuesday the return of José Luis Sánchez Vera to the rojiblanco bench. The decision of the entity comes in the middle of a very irregular season of the mattress team in the League, where it is fifth with 28 points, out of the first three positions, which give access to the Champions League. Atlético has eight victories, four draws and two defeats and is three points behind Levante, which is third with 31 points and has also played 14 games. González, who last August led the rojiblanco team in the first quarterfinals of the Champions League in its history, will continue to be linked to the club, where he arrived as a player in 1994 and of which he has been part of the academy – the lower categories – since 2010.
“The problems with the injuries of several players have hampered the performance of our team,” explains the statement from Atlético, which appreciates the work and professionalism of Dani González. The coach arrived on the rojiblanco bench in January 2020. Last August, González played the quarterfinals of the Champions League against Barça – in one game – where he competed in a formidable way and fell 0-1 despite the number of casualties that the team had as a result of an outbreak of coronavirus. In the previous league season, which was suspended in March due to the pandemic, Atlético finished second and qualified for the Champions League. In the round of 32 of this edition, the first round of the tournament, he eliminated the Swiss Servette (2-5 in the first leg, 4-0 in the second leg). The eighth rival will be known in February. However, its mole has been the Primera Iberdrola, where it has only achieved three consecutive victories since the League returned last October. As a local, for example, they lost against Madrid CFF and drew with Sporting de Huelva, two clubs against which a priori should not be left points, especially if one takes into account the perfect trajectory of Barça, who have won all the games and has not lost in a national competition for two years.
Dani González came to the bench to fill the void left by the departure of Sánchez Vera – his successor, Pablo López, only spent three months in charge of the team – who is now returning to replace him. The coach, who in his first year won the 2018/2019 League with Atlético, left the post for personal reasons in October 2019. He had arrived in the summer of 2018 to replace Ángel Villacampa. Despite triumphing in the league championship in their debut in the elite of women’s football, the team led by Sánchez Vera fell in May 2019 in the final of the Copa del Reina against Real Sociedad.
José Luis Sánchez Vera landed at Atlético in 2015. Before joining the first women’s team, he was second coach of the cadet and technical analyst of youth A. Due to the success in this last aspect, the club asked him to extend it to all categories lower. “I can say little about what it means to work for this club and this team again. We have many challenges and goals to work towards together and I will, as always, put all my effort, dedication and passion to achieve them. I hope to see all of Atlético soon, ”Sánchez Vera told the Atlético media.
The new coach had his first and only training session with Atlético on Tuesday afternoon before taking on Barça on Wednesday. In addition, the team had not been able to exercise jointly since last week due to the storm Filomena, which paralyzed Madrid for several days and caused the postponement of five matches of matchday 15 of the League due to the inability of some clubs to travel around the biggest snowfall of the century in Spain.
Atlético’s squad has changed greatly since Sánchez Vera’s first stage. The Spanish international Virginia Torrecilla is out after a successful operation for a head tumor last May, and players such as goalkeepers Lola Gallardo and Sari van Veenendaal or lateral Kenti Robles have left. The renewal process already began in the summer of 2019, with him on the bench, when he lost, for example, his best player, Jenni Hermoso, who signed for Barça. Since then, Atlético has tried to create a new group. They have arrived, among others, Toni Duggan, Charlyn Corral or Deyna Castellanos. In this winter market the club has been reinforced with three other signings: Nigerian attacker Rasheedat Ajibade, French midfielder Aminata Diallo and Cameroonian forward Njoya Ajara Nchout. In none of these incorporations did Sánchez Vera participate, as he himself acknowledged this Tuesday at the press conference prior to the game against Barça.