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'Tell me to my face, rat' - Atletico players row with fitness coach after loss

  /  autty

Atletico Madrid's season has descended into bitter in-fighting after their Champions League exit at the hands of Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus.

Rows over the methods of fitness coach Oscar Ortega, tired players, and a crippling injury list have come to a head since their failure to hold a 2-0 lead in Turin.

According to Diario AS in one bust-up defender Stefan Savic shouted: 'Tell me to my face, rat' at Ortega after Atletico's last league game.

The team have suffered 42 injuries this season and looked exhausted on Wednesday when they were over-powered by Juventus.

Ortega's fame as one of the world's best fitness coaches goes before him and he has long been credited with a large part of the club's success. But now the tables have turned and he is being blamed for the failure to progress in Europe in a year when they host the Champions League final.

AS claimed on Friday that the players had refused to warm-down after the defeat in the Juventus Stadium and that the relationship between Ortega and several key players is non-existent.

Spanish radio 'Cope' had claimed Savic argued with Simeone after Atletico's win over Leganes at the weekend but AS say after consulting various source the row did not involve the coach.

Instead if was Ortega and Savic who had to be separated after the game when Ortega, unaware that Savic could hear him, told a third person 'this one can't even move' in reference to the Montenegro defender.

A furious Savic is understood to have responded: 'Are you talking about me? Say it to my face, rat.'

AS reported that Savic then threw a boot at Ortega, missing him but smashing a television screen on the dressing room wall.

Simeone returned from media duties to find the wild west scene in his dressing room. He was able to calm his defender down but bad feeling between Ortega and the players continued in the days leading up to Atletico's Champions League defeat.

Post-game captain Diego Godin is understood to have led the players in their refusal to warm-down following their 3-0 loss.