Matheus Cunha completes switch to Atletico from Hertha Berlin

By Sports Desk August 25, 2021

Atletico Madrid have completed the signing of Matheus Cunha from Hertha Berlin for a reported €26million fee.

Cunha, who is Brazil Under-23s' all-time leading goalscorer, joins Diego Simeone's side on a five-year deal and will provide capable support to talisman Luis Suarez up top.

Speculation had linked the 22-year-old to Everton, Atalanta and Napoli, but the reigning LaLiga champions swooped in to secure his services after a move for Dusan Vlahovic fell through.

Cunha initially moved to Europe to play for Swiss side Sion, subsequently joining RB Leipzig before finding a new home with Hertha in 2020.

Last term, the versatile attacker scored eight and assisted six across 28 games in all competitions, leading Hertha's charts ahead of second-place Dodi Lukebakio with 12 goal involvements.

The Brazil striker created 54 chances - 18 more than closest team-mate Vladimir Darida – putting him sixth among forwards playing in Germany.

Solely in the Bundesliga, the former Leipzig man has improved in front of goal in every campaign since 2018-19 and most recently scored a career-high seven goals in the German top-flight, finding the target with 62.5 per cent of shots.

Similarly, Cunha almost doubled his touches in the opposition box in such fixtures last year, producing 98 in comparison to 53 last term and 58 the year before.

 

However, it is in terms of dribbling where Atletico's new man comes to the fore.

Since his arrival in Berlin on January 31, 2020, only five forwards across Europe's top-five leagues have completed more dribbles than Cunha's 123 – successful in just over 60 per cent of all dribbles he attempted.

No player in the Bundesliga can match that dribbling tally while Yannick Carrasco is the only Atletico player to have completed more than 100 dribbles in the same time frame.

Cunha will likely be tasked with partnering Suarez as a second striker, perhaps replacing the in-form Angel Correa as Los Colchoneros go in search of back-to-back LaLiga titles.

Makeshift forward Correa has scored eight goals in his last 10 across all competitions - including three in his last two - for Simeone's men, having previously netted seven times in his last 73 for the club.

Cunha could feature as early as Sunday against Villarreal for the defending Spanish champions, who have started a new campaign with consecutive wins for the fourth time during the Simeone era.

Related items

  • Australian Open: Osaka eases through to set up Anisimova clash Australian Open: Osaka eases through to set up Anisimova clash

    Naomi Osaka will face Amanda Anisimova in round three of the Australian Open after easing past Madison Brengle on Wednesday.

    The two-time champion in Melbourne won 6-0 6-4 to set up a meeting with the 20-year-old American, who earlier upset Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic in straight sets.

    Despite a second-set wobble on serve that gave Brengle hope of a comeback, Osaka looked in comfortable control of the contest and has now dropped just one set in her five matches in 2022.

    Brengle was a 6-2 6-2 winner in the only previous meeting in Rock Hill way back in 2013, when Osaka had just turned 16 and had barely any Tour experience. Against the Osaka of 2022, a four-time major champion, she had few answers.

    Osaka tore through Brengle's defence in the opening set, wrapping it up in 20 minutes while dropping just three points on serve.

    Brengle was credited with just one winner in her chaotic first-round match with Dayana Yastremska, who retired trailing 6-1 0-6 0-5. It was not until the second game of the second set that Brengle matched that tally, but it was worth the wait: a brutal inside-out backhand across court, celebrated with gusto, as she began to make inroads on the Osaka serve.

    Osaka dug deep, saving three break points before holding for 2-1 and then another with a timely ace in her next service game. Her play was becoming erratic, though, and after saving a further three break points at 3-3, a wild overhead handed Brengle the breakthrough.

    Yet if the 31-year-old thought then that the match was just getting started, it was suddenly over. Osaka broke back immediately with a backhand volley at the net and did not lose another point from there, clinching the contest when Brengle's passing shot dropped wide.

    DATA SLAM: Osaka into overdrive

    Brengle quadrupled her winner count from her first-round match, but the world number 54 was simply outgunned by Osaka when it came to rallies.

    The Japanese star fired in 37 winners to 32 unforced errors, turning on the power just when it seemed like the contest was balancing out.

    WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
    Brengle – 4/14
    Osaka – 37/32

    ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
    Brengle – 0/1
    Osaka – 8/1

    BREAK POINTS WON
    Brengle – 1/10
    Osaka – 5/7

  • Mona kicked out of Walker Cup final for use of ineligible players Mona kicked out of Walker Cup final for use of ineligible players

    Mona High has been removed from the final of the ISSA Walker Cup after being found guilty of using ineligible players.

    Mona was expected to face defending champions St Catherine in the final of the competition on Saturday, after securing their spot last week with a resounding 5-0 win over Kingston Technical.

    However, following a decision handed down by ISSA on Tuesday, it is St Elizabeth Technical who will replace Mona in the final.  The issue stems from the use of the school’s use of two ineligible players during the semifinal.

    During the Manning Cup quarterfinal against St Andrew Technical High School, both Mona players Ronaldo Jones and Carlton Brown received red cards.  While Jones received a straight red card, Brown had two yellow cards.  Neither should have been eligible for the Walker Cup semifinals but were still used in the fixture.

    "If a player receives a “red card” he automatically misses the next scheduled match in the competition in which he is eligible,” the release issue by ISSA stated.

    Mona is coached by Phoenix All-Star Football Academy manager Craig Butler.

  • Rumour Has It: Atletico's Suarez wants Gerrard reunion at Aston Villa Rumour Has It: Atletico's Suarez wants Gerrard reunion at Aston Villa

    Luis Suarez's future at Atletico Madrid is unclear with his contract to expire at the end of the season.

    Suarez helped Atleti win LaLiga last term with 21 goals.

    The Uruguayan joined Atletico from top-flight rivals Barcelona in 2020 on a two-year deal.

    TOP STORY – SUAREZ WANTS GERRARD REUNION AT VILLA

    Suarez wants a reunion with former Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa, reports Gerard Romero.

    The Atletico Madrid forward's contract expires at the end of this season and has been sounded out by numerous Brazilian clubs.

    Suarez has had offers from Palmeiras, Corinthians and Atletico Mineiro but wants to link up with Gerrard who took over at Villa in January.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - ESPN claims Paris Saint-Germain have opened talks with Manchester United's Paul Pogba and Milan's Franck Kessie, as part of their effort to convince Kylian Mbappe to stay in the French capital amid interest from Real Madrid.

    - Juventus have made an enquiry for Borussia Monchengladbach's Denis Zakaria according to 90min as they prepare for Arthur Melo to join Arsenal .

    - Arsenal's bid to sign Fiorentina's Dusan Vlahovic looks to have hit a roadblock with the Serbian only interested in joining Juventus, reports the Mail.

    - Milan want to bolster their backline and are interested in a loan deal for Tottenham's Japhet Tanganga, claims Fabrizio Romano.

    - Leicester City and Newcastle United may rival Brentford to sign Inter's Christian Eriksen, reports the Times.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.