The Spanish league title looks like going down to the wire this time around. It is hard to say how this season will turn out because apart from the usual contenders Real Madrid and Barcelona, there is a new predator in town - Atletico de Madrid. They are are gunning for the same title and are making a really good start of things. They have been on a roll this season under the guidance of Diego Simeone, their Argentinian manager and are showing no signs of taking their foot off the pedal. Their fans have been buying Atletico de Madrid tickets in thousands and packing stadiums home and away to make sure their team gets proper backing as it enters the current season.
A Brief History
Atletico de Madrid’s roots date all the way back to 26th April, 1903. That day three Madrid based students of Basque origin got together to form a club. The club was incepted to act as the youth branch of Athletic Bilbao but it became an independent entity in the year 1921. That really was the start of Atletico de Madrid as it is seen today.
Atletico de Madrid has been very successful on the football pitch as well. The club first tasted success when it lifted the “Campeonato Regional Centro” title in the year 1921. Atletico were crowned Spanish champions for the first time at the end of the 1939-1940 season. They repeated the feat next season as well to announce their arrival among the country’s football elite in some style. Atletico de Madrid has won the league nine times since then while they have captured second spot on eight other occasions.
Atletico Madrid won their first “Copa del Rey” in the 1959-1960 season and have repeated the feat nine more times since then to become ten time winners of the prestigious title. They have also finished as runners up nine times. The club has also won the “Supercopa de Espana” once.
Apart from multiple domestic titles, Atletico de Madrid has also won two “UEFA Europa League” crowns in 2010 and 2012. The club has also got its hands on one “UEFA Cup Winners Cup,” two “UEFA Super Cups” and one “Intercontinental Cup.” Atletico also made it to the final of the “European Cup” in 1973-1974 season where they lost to German giants Bayern Munich.
Atletico de Madrid began to play in the “Ronda de Vallecas,” their first home ground. The club then made the move to “Estadio Metropolitano de Madrid” in 1923. That was the club’s home till 1966 when they re-located to their current stadium, the “Estadio Vicente Calderon”. The Calderon can play host to an impressive fifty four thousand eight hundred and fifty one fans at a time. Atletico de Madrid plan to shift to the “Estadio La Peineta” next year. Their new stadium will have a seventy thousand seating capacity which will make it the third biggest football club stadium in the country.
Apart from making headlines in Spain, many football pundits also have them as their dark horses to win the “Champions League”, the biggest club competition in Europe. They certainly have the squad which is being led by one of the best young managers in the game today, Diego Simeone. The club is playing fantastic football and it will not surprise anyone if Atletico de Madrid win the league or the Champions League this year.