Club Atlético de Madrid have filled the void left by the Chelsea FC-bound Diego Costa by snapping up Croatia forward Mario Mandžukić from FC Bayern München for a reported fee of €22m.
On his arrival in the Spanish capital to sign a four-year deal with the Liga champions, Mandžukić – a scorer of 33 goals in 54 Bundesliga games for Bayern over the past two seasons – said, "I know Atlético well and they have good players and a good coach; I'm very happy to be here." The double Croatian footballer of the year, 28, added, "I have seen many of Atlético's games and I like their style of play. I feel that I can do good things with this team."
Mandžukić's move to last season's UEFA Champions League runners-up ends a successful spell for the 187cm-tall striker at the Bavarian giants. He capped a fine first term in southern Germany by soring the opening goal of his side's 2013 UEFA Champions League final victory against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley. That came at the end of a campaign that brought a domestic double of Bundesliga and German Cup, a feat Bayern and Mandžukić repeated last season, when they also lifted the FIFA Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup.
The former VfL Wolfsburg forward rose to prominence at NK Zagreb before a move to rivals GNK Dinamo Zagreb – where he netted 42 times in 81 league outings over three seasons – yielded three Croatian top-flight championships, among other titles. A scorer of 15 goals in 52 internationals with Croatia, Mandžukić was the joint top-scorer at UEFA EURO 2012, netting three times as his country exited the tournament at the group stage. Croatia suffered a similar fate at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, with their striker scoring twice.
Diego Simeone's Atlético will commence their 2014/15 UEFA Champions League challenge from the group stage.
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