It is refreshing to hear a footballer saying what he is really thinking, recognizing himself as vulnerable and talking about everything head-on, without those stuffy phrases that are so frequently heard. It must be equally satisfying for Luis Muriel not to be hiding anything.
The Atalanta attacker was the star of his team in a hard-fought draw against Storm Glaz in the UEFA Europa League, in which he scored twice. It was not enough to win and ended up in a 2-2 draw, and that ended up being annoying, even though Gasperini’s team leads group D.
“The fact that we had the advantage both on the scoreboard and in terms of players, it is a real shame to concede the draw. It was a great performance until then, we had total control and we lost two points that would have pushed us to qualify for the Europa League,” said the attacker on Sky Sports.
“This was definitely a wasted opportunity, when you have one more man and it ends up like that, it leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. A great opportunity was lost,” he added, self-critical and without selling the idea that they saved a visitor’s point.
And the sad thing is that he had not scored for a long time, much less a double, and without feeling that confidence boost that he needed, in a season in which he is playing very little. That is why he asked for the penalty, although in theory it was not the designated one: “Lately I play less so Koopmeiners heads the list of takers, but I asked the bench and they told me that I could kick it, I also asked Koopmeiners first if he was okay. I asked them to kick to gain confidence,” he confessed.
The attacker denied the rumors of his possible departure from Atalanta: “There was a lot of talk in the media, but I don’t think my departure was that close. I spoke with the coach, he told me that he wanted me to continue in the squad and I never felt otherwise. “I know that I have to work harder than last season to earn my place. I work harder after last year and this year I start with a different strength,” he commented.
And pay attention to his curious retirement plan: “I still feel young, although I am over 30 years old. I told my wife I want to keep playing until she turns 50! I’m still looking forward to it. I told the coach that I still have a lot to give to this team,” he concluded.
Muriel has only played 235 minutes in 8 games, 6 in Serie A and 2 in the Europa League, with a balance of two goals and one assist. That’s why he is not among those regularly called up to the Colombian National Team, another of his obsessions. The good thing is that he has time to come back… until he’s 50!