Atletico Madrid is making a desperate bid to have Diego Costa available for Saturday’s Champions League final by sending him for treatment using horse placenta.
The Atletico striker is doubtful for Saturday’s match against Real Madrid in Lisbon due to a nagging right thigh injury, but Atletico is not giving up.
The club sent the Brazilian-born Spain striker to Belgrade to seek treatment from Marijana Kovacevic, who uses fluid derived from horse placenta to repair damaged cells.
“It all depends on the horse treatment used, but I have no idea about it as I’m not a doctor,” Atletico president Enrique Cerezo said. “If it doesn’t help him, then it’s best he doesn’t play.”
Kovacevic has previously treated Robin van Persie and Frank Lampard, among a number of football players.
Costa led Atletico with 36 goals in all competitions but limped out early in a 1-1 draw at Barcelona on Saturday.
“Hopefully it can help him recover in time because he is such an important player for us,” Atletico fullback Juanfran Torres said. “We’d like to be able to count on him.”
LUIS enrique signs on as BARCELONA coach
Former Barcelona player Luis Enrique signed a two-year contract to become coach on Wednesday, a hire the club hopes will resemble the success stories of Johan Cruyff and Pep Guardiola.
Enrique signed the deal with club president Josep Bartomeu a day after it was announced by the club. That was two days after coach Gerardo Martino stepped down when Barcelona finished its first season without a major trophy in six years. The 44-year-old Enrique won two league titles as a player for Barcelona from 1996-2004 and coached its “B” team from 2008-11. Enrique also coached at Roma and led Celta Vigo to a respectable ninth-place finish this season after installing an attractive passing attack on the Barcelona model.
Enrique’s hiring continues a tradition of in-house coaches recently represented in Guardiola and Tito Vilanova. That string was broken when Martino was hastily brought in last year.
Enrique is the club’s eighth former captain to coach the club, joining such greats as Laszlo Kubala, Cesar Rodriguez, Cruyff and Guardiola.
His immediate goal is to help sports director Andoni Zubizarreta rebuild a squad that has experienced a slow but steady slide over the past two years.
Under Enrique, Barcelona will be expected to bring in reinforcements to help Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Neymar. And he won’t be measured — at least not immediately — against Guardiola, who won an unprecedented six titles in his first season and 14 of a possible 19 in four years. AP