As a supporter of Antwerp and Atletico, Gert Jacobs could not miss Arthur Vermeeren’s first match in Madrid. “He has been thrown to the lions,” said the co-founder of the Belgian fan club Peña Atlética Diablos Rojiblancos. Atletico coach Diego Simeone talked about “45 minutes of discovery”.
Arthur Vermeeren (18) made a discreet debut at Atlético Madrid last night. He was substituted during the break.
Gert Jacobs witnessed it from the front row. The loyal Atletico fan flew back and forth to Madrid for the league match against Vallecano (2-1).
“Vermeeren has been thrown to the lions,” says the co-founder of the Peña Atlética Diablos Rojiblancos.
“After barely 5 days he was already in the team and not yet in his position, but on the right. The coach had rotated a lot and Vermeeren did not get the best passes,” says Jacobs.
“There was also understanding in the stadium for the match of such a young player. The Atletico fans previously grumbled about the performance of the experienced midfielder Saul Niguez.”
For the first time they had to print the name Vermeeren on a shirt, they told me.
Gert Jacobs has been a fan of Atletico for years. “Since the late 1990s,” he says. “Then I discovered the team through the Championship Manager game. Afterwards I also started studying.”
Last night in Madrid, Jacobs immediately visited the Atletico fan shop. “For a Vermeeren shirt,” he beams.
“For the first time they had to print the name Vermeeren on a jersey. Or so they said,” the fan laughs.