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Former Arsenal star Gilberto Silva ready to make his Atlético Mineiro debut in derby this weekend

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Former Arsenal star Gilberto Silva looks set to make his Atlético Mineiro debut this weekend in the derby against Cruzeiro in the opening game of the 2013 Campeonato Mineiro.

Silva, 36, moved back to Atlético, where he played until 2002 before moving to Arsenal, last month after leaving Grêmio at the end of his contract and has been working hard during pre-season ahead of what could be a long season for Cuca’s team, with Atlético qualifying for this season’s Copa Libertadores.

“We are training at a less than normal pace for a bit because, over the weekend, we have an important game,” he told Globo Esporte.

“But we responded in the best possible way to what has been proposed by the technical committee. We know the importance of preparation time for the whole season, and, with this commitment from now on, things are easier to administer.”

However, the player is aware of the importance of the derby against Cruzeiro and assures fans they will be ready to beat their rivals on Sunday.

“In a classico we have to be aware of all situations, possible and impossible, because if there is relaxation, things happen against our team.

“But here we are protected against it, we know the importance of starting well against the competition's biggest rival. Everyone is anxious and tired of just training and are ready to compete.”

Source: Globo Esporte


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