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Sports Features of Thursday, 14 September 2017


Partey, as the HOLY job

Before Tuesday's game in Rome, the 'run-run' around Simeone's lineup was to know if the captain was going to play, Gabi.

Most of the suppositions assumed that yes, that would play, and that therefore that would go to the bench would be Thomas Partey (Accra, Ghana, 24 years). Gabi played, yes, for an hour, but who visited the bench was not Thomas, but Carrasco. It has been the third consecutive game of the African soccer player in the center of the field of Simeone, an overpopulated place in which it is not easy to play.

Because Thomas must fight a site with Gabi, Koke, Saul, Augustus and even Giménez. There are five, almost six, players for just two places in the field. "He has been with us for four years and he has worked hard, he has waited to have his moment." This pre-season we talked to him and told him that he would compete with everyone to have his place. the better the team will come the coach will have him, "said Diego Simeone after the game in the bowels of the Olympic, where the boy was also in front of the microphones. A boy, who has indeed had all the patience of the world.

"It's a personal pride, I've worked hard to be playing on a night like this," said the boy, who arrived at Atlético almost at the same time as Simeone. Jose Jimenez, representative of soccer players, and a partner that has in Africa, offered the boy to Atlético. He tried with the juveniles and the technicians considered that he had level.

He was Óliver Torres' partner in the youth B, immediately went to the branch with Alfredo Santaelena . A first transfer to Mallorca and a second to Almeria(where he started in the First Division) left him in the summer of 2015 in the hands of Simeone. There he did not go out again and, after two years with few matches (47 in two complete courses, few as a starter), it seems that his time has come.

The 'Cholo' polished his diamond

In Rome, his 96% effectiveness in the pass was only surpassed by Gabi. It is a physical portent but dominates the ball and what Simeone has tried to polish during these years has been a certain relaxation when defending or some wrong exits with the ball, trying to bargain when you can not or playing too risky passes.

"It's a box-to-box like they say in England," said the coach, who is convinced by the Ghanaian's physical display. Thomas, shy, deeply religious, is the eldest of eight siblings. Her mother had five of her first marriage and three of a second marriage. A curious fact: when the partner representative of Jose Jimenez traveled to his village to convince him to come and try Spain had not seen him play.

"Senegal", as his father, responsible for a football school in Odumase Krobo calls it, "the time has come to succeed. He has installed himself in the middle of the field of a candidate to win the European Cup and he takes it humbly. "I try to always do the best for the team and the coach to trust me," he said yesterday with a shy look, wishing to leave for the bus and return to his anonymity. It will cost you more.