Atletico Madrid announces the signing of Witsel | Sports

Atletico Madrid announced on Wednesday their first signing for next season: Axel Witsel. The 33-year-old Belgian midfielder is contracting with the Rugiblancos for a season, having terminated his contract with Borussia Dortmund, the team in which he played the last four seasons. In this way, Atlético covers the hole in the midfield left by the departure of Hector Herrera, who left for the United States to sign with the Houston Dynamo.

Witsel has been an old wish for the Atlético board for a long time. In 2008, he was elected the best player in Belgium on the verge of turning twenty, having been a two-time champion of Belgium and alluded to everything that would come later: his participation in two World Cups and two European Championships, the Portuguese League title with Benfica and the Russian with Zenit, the German Cup with Dortmund… and now Atlético. Having passed through Russia (Zenit Saint Petersburg), China (Tianjin Tianhai) and Germany (Borussia Dortmund), he ended up in the Metropolitan where he is expected to exchange ownership with Kondogbia at the pivotal position.

Atletico highlights his “great experience, as he played more than 600 official matches at club level, including 77 matches with the Champions League and 42 to the European League, in addition to his participation with Belgium in two editions of the World Cup (2014). And 2018 ) and in two European Championships (2016 and 2020).” As for his game, they highlight his ability to hold the midfield. “Witsel is a midfielder who is distinguished by his physical performance and good handling of the ball. He is a footballer who, due to his size, has a great ability to control the air game and fight for divided balls over opponents,” summarizing the presentation’s statement.

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The reality of the club is that due to the difficult economic situation, this is the type of signings they will have to look for this summer. The team’s salary bill exceeds 300 million euros, and La Liga forces the club to apply the three-for-one rule (only a third of its new income can be used for signings). The club feared that Witsel’s signature could be cut off after weeks of negotiations if the club appeared to offer him a more lucrative contract. But the player stuck to the commitment he made with Atletico and didn’t want to listen to the siren songs becoming Simeone’s first boost for the 2022/23 season.

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