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ATLÉTICO MADRID

Cerci makes first Atlético Madrid appearance for two years

The Italian was a second-half substitute in Atlético's 4-1 Copa del Rey last-32 victory over Guijuelo at the Calderón on Tuesday night.

Cerci makes first Atlético Madrid appearance for two years
JESUS AGUILERA DIARIO AS

Copa del Rey Draw Live

Alessio Cerci made his first Atlético Madrid appearance in two years in Tuesday evening's Copa del Rey last-32 victory over Guijuelo.

On as substitute against Guijuelo

The 29-year-old came on as a second-half substitute for Sául Ñíguez, playing the final half an hour of Atleti's 4-1 win over the Segunda B side, which secured a 10-1 aggregate triumph for Los Rojiblancos.  

Cerci (centre) comes on for Saúl on Tuesday night.

Carci signed for Atlético in summer 2014 for a fee of around 16 million euros after a stand-out season at Torino, where he scored 13 goals and provided 11 assists in Serie A, earning a place in the Italy squad for the 2014 World Cup.

Loaned to Milan, Genoa

But he failed to settle at the Calderón and played only nine times, scoring his only goal to date against Malmö in the Champions League, before being loaned to Milan in January 2015, with Fernando Torres moving in the opposite direction.

However, Cerci was unable to live up to expectations at the San Siro, scoring just once in 33 appearances. Milan decided not to extend his deal and he returned to Atlético in January 2016, and was immediately loaned out to Genoa

Cerci scored four in 11 appearances for the Turin club but suffered a serious knee injury on 16 April and was operated on the following month.

First Atlético game in nearly 750 days

Given the medical all-clear on Monday, Simeone included him in the squad for the Copa clash with Guijuelo. His previous appearance for Los Colchoneros had come at Villarreal on 14 December 2014 - no fewer than 741 days ago.

Prior to Tuesday, Cerci had featured for just 114 minutes across six Liga substitute appearances, two Champions League games (24 minutes against Olympiacos and 13 against Malmö) as well as 90 minutes in a Copa encounter against L’Hospitalet.