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Torres suffers traumatic brain injury
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Torres suffers traumatic brain injury

In a crushing collision with Bergantinos, Fernando Torres had to be stretchered off late on, losing consciousness in the process.

Jose Maria Gimenez had to look away so serious was the fall.

Fortunately, El Nino's condition has stabilised and he has since regained consciousness, after quickly being attended by club doctors and rushed to the nearest hospital.

Gabi and Mono Burgos gave the thumbs up signalling the ok, as a relieved Estadio Riazor applauded their opponent.

Initial tests show that Torres suffered a traumatic brain injury and he will spend the night in the hospital under observation.

Simeone: I heard the hit to Torres' neck from the bench

Atletico Madrid's main concern in the aftermath of Thursday's draw with Deportivo La Coruna was the health of Fernando Torres, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a late collision, one which Diego Simeone said he could hear from the dugout.

The striker had to be stretched off, leaving his fellow teammates and the Rojiblanco coaching staff in a state of shock.

"I heard the hit to his neck from the bench," Simeone said after the match.

"We hope that it will turn out as well as possible for Torres.

"We're aware that he is conscious and that he has a head injury.

"The entire Atletico family are worried and nervous after this scare."

The Argentine pointed out that the moments after Torres' injury were tough for everyone.

"It was complicated for the players of Deportivo and of Atletico," he told reporters.

As for the action and the result, he admitted that automatic Champions League qualification was now slipping out of their reach.

"We have to consider reality, which is that we are now closer to finishing fourth than third," he said.

"Atletico have to guard [fourth place] and if we need to draw matches then we need to draw them.

"Their goal made them believe and they ended up having a good first half.

"We were disorganised, but improved and we could have won it, although we could have lost it too."

Sunday's match against Valencia is next on the agenda, as is monitoring Torres' recovery as he spends the night in a local hospital.

World of football sends Fernando Torres overwhelming support

It is always a worry when players collide with each other on the pitch and Fernando Torres' terrifying collision with Alex Bergantinos forced the striker off the pitch and football as a whole has united to send their thoughts and messages of goodwill.

Several relatives of the Atletico Madrid striker allayed initial fears by suggesting that the initial danger and scare was over and that Torres was stable.

They passed on their thanks for the numerous messages of support that arrived within minutes of the incident from all corners of the footballing fraternity.

Former colleagues and rivals of the Spaniard were sent through social media channels whilst Los Colchoneros themselves moved to reassure supporters with an official statement.

'Torres is stable and conscious, he'll spend the night in hospital and undergo more tests tomorrow,' they explained.

Luis Enrique followed Guardiola's achievements but never got the same credit

Luis Enrique's announcement that he will quit Barcelona at the end of the season was expected, but the timing -at the end of a news conference after his side thrashed Sporting Gijon 6-1- came as a surprise.

In fact, he had first considered not renewing his contract beyond next summer during pre-season, he said, after a dramatic slide at the end of the second campaign. Barca had exited the Champions League and could only claim a league title that had looked to be sewn up on the final day of the season.

That dip in form, which saw Barca lose three consecutive league games for the first time in 13 years, was the first sign that the wheels were starting to come off a spectacular machine that had rolled to the treble in his first season.

Concern grew when Barca slumped to a 2-1 defeat at home against newly promoted Alaves after the coach made a string of changes. His much criticised squad rotation came back to haunt him in a 4-3 defeat at Celta Vigo.

Barca remained in the fight for the league title and on Wednesday overtook Real Madrid at the top of La Liga, but they have also failed to convince against the top sides. Their decline culminated in a 4-0 thrashing at Paris St Germain that left them on the brink of an early exit in the Champions League.

There was more than a hint of rumbling discontent in the dressing room. Heavyweights Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta publicly criticised the coach's tactics in Paris, although the coach found an ally in Gerard Pique.

The coach also looked rattled after the game in a tense exchange with a Catalan television reporter, who he harangued for not giving him credit for the team's successes.

While Luis Enrique has long had a prickly relationship with the media, it was becoming clearer that the stress of a role which had worn out predecessor Pep Guardiola was finally getting to him.

Barca failed to give a fitting response in their next game against struggling Leganes, rescuing a 2-1 win with a late penalty converted by Lionel Messi, which the Argentine chose not to celebrate.

Luis Enrique's uneasy relationship with Messi nearly cost him his job in January 2015 after the Argentine reacted badly to being left out against Real Sociedad. In general, he appeared to have little personal connection with his squad.

These underlying tensions mean Luis Enrique will not be remembered with the same reverence as Guardiola, even though he has delivered a similar trophy haul as his old teammate, who was seen as the spiritual heir to Johan Cruyff, the godfather of the modern Barcelona.

President Josep Maria Bartomeu, however, lauded Luis Enrique: "We've had a super coach in the last three years," he declared. "No one can doubt he's one of the best coaches Barcelona have had and who has fit with our ideas."

Sevilla's Jorge Sampaoli and Athletic Bilbao's Ernesto Valverde are the two main candidates to succeed Luis Enrique, although the outgoing coach is believed to want his assistant Juan Carlos Unzue to take over.

Argentine Sampaoli has transformed Sevilla into one of the most exciting teams to watch in Europe with a dynamic, possession-based style of play reminiscent of the enthralling football Guardiola served up. He is seen as the fans' choice, while former Barca player Valverde is reported to be favoured by the board.

Messi's bond with compatriot Sampaoli could be a deciding factor, however. Whoever Barca do appoint will have his work cut out in repeating Luis Enrique's achievements, even though the coach never managed to satisfy everyone at the club.

Capello: Sampaoli would be perfect for Barcelona

Like many this season, Fabio Capello has been impressed with Jorge Sampaoli and the Sevilla side he has sculpted in his image, so much so that he believes he is more than capable of replacing Luis Enrique at the season's end.

The Asturian boss made it clear on Wednesday night that he wouldn't continue as Barcelona coach due to fatigue and a lack of rest, and the look for the right candidate has already begun.

"Sampaoli would be perfect for Barcelona," said the Italian. "He is one of the most interesting coaches in Europe and for me is in prime condition to become Barcelona coach.

"He has a lot of personality, knows how to make himself appreciated, and gives his teams something different.

"His style is more vertical and he would bring Barcelona something different."

Ozil: Mourinho called me a coward in dressing room fight at Real Madrid

Former Real Madrid playmaker Mesut Ozil has revealed that he had a major dressing room bust-up with coach Jose Mourinho at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, which led to the coach telling the player he could leave.

German newspaper Bild are publishing extracts from the German's autobiography, entitled The Magic of the Game, which will go on sale on March 16.

On Thursday, the segment that they published included details of a dressing room spat between Ozil and Mourinho at Real.

"'Do you think that giving two good passes is enough? Do you think that you are so good that you only need to complete 50 percent of your passes?'," Ozil wrote of Mourinho's outburst in his direction.

"He stopped and looked at me with his dark brown eyes. I leaned back. It was like the look of two boxers before the first round. I hated him even though I actually adored him.

"'I want you to play as you know, to go for the ball like a man, do you know how to go for the ball when we lose it?'.

I'll show you," was Ozil's response.

The current Arsenal man revealed that he lost his cool at that moment, throwing his jersey at Mourinho's feet before offering the Portuguese tactician some advice.

"If you are so great then why don't you play. There you go, do that," snarled Ozil.

"Are you giving up?" was Mourinho's instant response. "You're a coward. What do you want? Do you want a nice hot shower, wash your hair and be alone?

"Or would you prefer to show your teammates, the fans and me what you can do? Remember, I don't need you."

"I grabbed my towel and walked past him to the shower without saying a word to him," Ozil concluded. "Later, I apologised for my behaviour to Sergio Ramos and the rest of the team."

Ozil reveals how he snubbed Guardiola's Barcelona

Back in 2010, Mesut Ozil was one of the hottest properties on the planet and came within inches of signing for Barcelona, before opting to join Real Madrid.

Having impressed for Germany at the World Cup in South Africa, the Wolfsburg playmaker travelled to Catalunya to meet Pep Guardiola and do a deal, but found the coach to be conspicuous in his absence.

"Guardiola did not call me in the following days either," Bild reveal Ozil writes in his upcoming autobiography.

"He didn't even send a text. He did not send me a signal that he wanted me to sign. Accordingly, my enthusiasm for Barcelona steadily declined.

"Because of Guardiola's behaviour, I did not want to go to Barcelona. Especially because [Real boss, Jose] Mourinho fought so much at the same time.

"He was so convincing. So heartfelt. So trying hard. He was the complete opposite of the Barcelona coach. So I decided for Mourinho and Real Madrid."

In three years at the capital club, Ozil won the LaLiga, Copa del Rey, and Supercopa de Espana titles once each, before leaving for current club Arsenal.

 
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