🪨 José María Giménez: Atlético Madrid’s rock
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🪨 José María Giménez: Atlético Madrid’s rock

Time flies in the world of football and it's strange to think that José Giménez has been an Atlético Madrid player for almost nine years.

The Uruguayan has gradually become a cornerstone of Diego Simeone's Atléti back four since making his debut for the club in 2013.  

Atlético won LaLiga in 2014 and fell at the very final hurdle of the Champions League in heartbreaking fashion against fierce capital rivals Real Madrid in the same year. Giménez would get European retribution in 2018 when Simeone's side beat Marseille in the 2018 Europa League final. Giménez was part of the side that eliminated Liverpool at the round of 16 stage in the 2019-20 Champions League.

Giménez formed a fabled central-defensive duo alongside fellow countryman Diego Godín for the better part of six years. Their telepathic understanding, in front of the formidable Jan Oblak in goal, has made Atlético Madrid a notoriously difficult team to play and score against. Slovenian stopper Oblak has kept 152 clean sheets to date in 279 appearances for the club, and much of that record is down to the protection he received from Giménez and Godín.

When Godín called time on his illustrious spell at Wanda Metropolitano in 2019, Giménez assumed the senior role and has become Atléti's defensive general. He turns 26 today, meaning that he's still approaching his peak years as a defender, and he'll be an integral figure if the Rojiblancos are to go all the way to LaLiga glory in 2021.

Atléti currently holds a four-point lead over Real Madrid at LaLiga's summit and they have two games in hand. After 16 games, Simeone's men have conceded just six goals and won 12 of their last 13 top-flight encounters.

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