Atlético Madrid will face RB Leipzig without Timo Werner in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. The transfer of the goal machine to Chelsea will have made Jan Oblak’s job a little easier, which he certainly won’t mind.
He has big ambitions after all, ambitions that have not been achieved by Atléti this season in the league (finished third but well behind Real Madrid and Barcelona by 17 and 12 points, respectively) and which do not have not yet been reached by Atléti in Europe. since reaching the Champions League final in 2016, in Oblak’s first full season as a starting keeper. They might have won the Europa League a few years later, but that’s not the European award the 27-year-old has in mind and heart.
“There is the goal of the club and its needs [qualifying for the Champions League] and then there is what I had in my head, my hope. It was to compete more with Barça and [Real] Madrid until the end of the season, but it couldn’t be. The club’s goal was met, but my hopes were not.
On the surface, that makes Oblak an ambitious contender, which we should expect from someone who is one of the best in the world and has been a key player for Diego Simeone for the past half-decade. And Atleti is still in the title conversation, both in Europe and Spain, and it’s not a terrible place – even though the actual silverware has been limited to the aforementioned Europa League only.
But combined with the recent Chelsea rumors and their conscious hijacking of this issue at the same press conference, there is still plenty of room for rumor.
“Now is not the time for that, now it’s Leipzig. I will come back to the season after the last game is over, and I hope we have three more [games to play]. Then there will be time to talk. But first, Leipzig. I am really looking forward to it. “
-Jan Oblak; source: AS via Metro
Obviously, that doesn’t mean anything in the real world, and it doesn’t lower Oblak’s $ 120million buyout clause etc, but it’s fun to speculate.