After several seasons of unwavering consistency at the heart of some of La Liga’s finest defences, Diego Godin is finally receiving recognition as one of the planet’s premier centre-backs…in the wake of transfer rumours linking him to Chelsea.
A price of 3/1 says the Atletico Madrid rearguard marshal signs for Jose Mourinho’s side before the close of the summer transfer window, with the Blues boss looking to bolster his backline during pre-season.
Links between the Uruguayan and the game’s elite clubs have been sparse throughout his career, with his supreme powers flying under the radar for several seasons.
At a time when children who have exemplified more talent than their peers in an Under-11’s team are being snapped up by football’s fattest felines, how Godin has gone unnoticed for so long is difficult to fathom.
Had he not scored the goal that brought Atletico to within a few seconds from winning a maiden Champions League last term, it’s probable the masses would be still largely uneducated about his status as one of the world’s elite.
The Uruguayan’s presence at the heart of Los Colchoneros’ defence, alongside the goals of Diego Costa, was the key factor behind the lesser-lauded Spanish capital club winning a universally unforeseen La Liga crown last term.
Diego Simeone’s side’s success was built on the foundations of a reinforced rearguard that shipped just 26 league goals throughout 2013/14.
They’ll come close to matching this ridiculous rate again this time around, with 25 leaked to date a year on.
Godin and centre-back partner Miranda must take the bulk of the credit for last season’s heroics given that they’ve managed to maintain these standards despite the subtraction of key players from the Atletico defensive department.
Chelsea recalled goalkeeping sensation Thibaut Courtois and cherry-picked left-back Felipe Luis for their reserves, while they also helped themselves to the team’s talisman Costa.
So impressed was Mourinho with the machine Simeone had crafted, he even attempted to lure seasoned midfielder Tiago to Stamford Bridge too, yet his transfer tentacles never darted in Godin’s direction.
The Special One wasn’t the only one to overlook his enormous contribution.
FIFA inexplicably – and much to the surprise of everyone who had ever watched a game of football – inducted Paris Saint-Germain defender David Luiz into their Team of the Year for 2014.
Godin’s omission undermined the legitimacy of the entire concept.
However, it appears, at the ripe age of 29, the centre-back’s stellar ability is finally being acknowledged through Chelsea’s belated courting of his services.