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What Atletico Madrid Can Learn in Ramon De Carranza Trophy

July 27, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; Atletico Madrid player Arda Turan (10) holds the winner's trophy with his team after the match against the San Jose Earthquakes at Candlestick Park. Atletico Madrid defeated the Earthquakes 4-3 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports
Paul WilkesFeatured ColumnistAugust 14, 2014

Los Blancos started their first competitive match with a very strong line-up, as two Cristiano Ronaldo goals saw off Europa League winners Sevilla.

Atletico Madrid doesn't have the benefit of such a combative game, but their meeting with Cadiz will offer some resilience at least.

The Ramon de Carranza Trophy is held every year in Andalusia, with the hosts having organised the tournament since 1955.

It's named after the former Cadiz president, which is also the name of the club's stadium.

These sorts of encounters are far more than just pre-season friendlies to the Spanish public, and the players use them as a chance to fine-tune ahead of a gruelling campaign.

For manager Diego Simeone it's an opportunity to assess his squad to determine whether further reinforcements are required before the end of the transfer window and to enable others to improve their fitness levels.

The Argentine will want to field his strongest available 11 against local rivals Real Madrid with the added dilemma of the second leg only three days after the original meeting.

There have been a couple of injuries to the squad, with Mario Suarez requiring a CT brain scan after he was knocked unconscious in a collision during the win over Wolfsburg, via the Daily Mail.

Then, Arda Turan suffered a muscle injury to his right thigh on Wednesday, per the official Atletico Madrid website.

Simeone can learn a lot about the ability of his secondary players and can also integrate some of the new signings in a low-pressure environment.

This is the final match before the tempo increases, and after last year's successful campaign, expectations are higher.

"We’re still preparing and getting in shape," defender Diego Godin told the club's official website.

"We still have to keep working to improve and feel good. We will try to get there in the best way, convinced that we will be 100 percent at the time. We will give our all and try to win."

The club have been busy in the transfer market, and not just to replace the outgoing quality. Their philosophy is important, and the latest acquisitions will need to embrace the idea.

"The match-by-match is still good for us. It’s part of the training. We focus on what’s closest in time. Now we are preparing for the Spanish Super Cup as our main objective."

Goals have been a little sparse in pre-season, but a first start for Mario Mandzukic changed that when the team as a whole hit five against Wolfsburg.

The signing of promising Mexican Raul Jimenez will add further strength to the attacking areas.

"Raul Jimenez is a player with enormous promise and will complete our offensive line," sporting director Jose Luis Perez Caminero said in a press release, via FoxSports.

"He has a lot of desire to succeed in his leap to European football, and his hope is that he will adapt quickly to our league."

This illustrates that there will be more competition for places in the new season, so good performances for those on the peripheral are essential against Cadiz.

Defeat for Atletico Madrid wouldn't be a disaster, but it's important they maintain momentum with the new campaign just around the corner.

The two teams are equal on eight trophy wins, which is an impressive feat for Los Colchoneros when you consider they don't compete in it every year like Cadiz.

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