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Atletico street to honour Luis Aragones

The street leading to Atletico Madrid’s new stadium is set to be named the “Avenida Luis Aragones” after the former Colchoneros and Spain coach who died recently.

Luis Aragones led Spain to glory at Euro 2008.
Luis Aragones played and coached at Atletico Madrid.

Work is continuing slowly on La Peineta, which is scheduled to be ready for the start of the 2016-17 season.

Atletico coach Diego Simeone and his players visited the construction site on Wednesday morning, receiving a tour along with Madrid Mayor Ana Botella.

Botella told El Pais that the street approaching the former athletics stadium would soon be renamed in honour of Aragones -- a Madrid native -- who was loved by fans as both a coach and player of Atletico, before guiding Spain to glory at Euro 2008.

“The Madrid town hall will soon approve the proposal from the district of San Blas to name the avenue giving access to La Peineta as the ‘Avenida Luis Aragones,’” Botella said.

The new ground will be an upgrade on Atletico’s crumbling Estadio Vicente Calderon, with an extended capacity and much greater potential for revenue generated through corporate and commercial facilities.

The move is not, however, popular with all Colchoneros fans, given its location miles away on the other side of the Spanish capital near Barajas airport, while the Calderon is centrally sited near the city’s river Manzanares.

Atletico club president Enrique Cerezo, though, brushed aside such concerns.

“We hope it will be one of the best stadiums in Europe,” Cerezo told AS. “It will be a great stadium. There will be lots of parking, one of the problems we have at the moment with the Vicente Calderon, and we have the metro. The stadium will have around 70,000 places for Atletico fans to see games in comfort.”

Atletico first announced plans to move in 2007, and it was originally said the team could be playing at La Peineta by 2011. However, work has long been held back by Madrid’s failed Olympics bids, legal objections and the club’s financial issues.

Meanwhile, the controversial plan to develop a 30-storey residential tower on the site of the Calderon and a nearby beer factory has collapsed due to Spain’s financial troubles.

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