Atlético Madrid

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Atlético Madrid
Atletico Madrid 2017 logo.svg
Full nameClub Atlético de Madrid, S.A.D.
Nickname(s)Colchoneros (Mattress Makers)[1]
Indios (Indians)[2]
Founded26 April 1903; 119 years ago (1903-04-26) as Athletic Club Sucursal de Madrid
GroundWanda Metropolitano
OwnerAtlético HoldCo (65,98%)[4]
Idan Ofer (33%)[5][6][7]
PresidentEnrique Cerezo
Head coachDiego Simeone
LeagueLa Liga
2020–21La Liga, 1st of 20 (champions)
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Club Atlético de Madrid, S.A.D. (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkluβ aˈtletiko ðe maˈðɾið]; meaning "Athletic Club of Madrid"), simplified as Atleti in the Spanish-speaking world and commonly referred at international level as Atletico Madrid, is a Spanish professional football club based in Madrid that plays in La Liga. The club play their home games at the Wanda Metropolitano, which has a capacity of 68,456.[3]

In terms of league titles won, Atlético Madrid are the third most successful club in Spanish football – behind Real Madrid and Barcelona. Atlético have won La Liga on eleven occasions, including a league and cup double in 1996; the Copa del Rey on ten occasions; two Supercopas de España, one Copa Presidente FEF and one Copa Eva Duarte; in Europe, they won the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1962, were runners-up in 1963 and 1986, were UEFA Champions League runners-up in 1974, 2014 and 2016,[8] won the Europa League in 2010, 2012 and 2018, and won the UEFA Super Cup in 2010, 2012 and 2018 as well as the 1974 Intercontinental Cup.

Atlético's home kit is red and white vertical striped shirts, blue shorts, and blue and red socks. This combination has been used since 1911. Throughout their history the club has been known by a number of nicknames, including Los Colchoneros ("The Mattress Makers"), due to their first team stripes being the same colours as traditional mattresses. During the 1970s, they became known as Los Indios, which some attribute to the club's signing several South American players after the restrictions on signing foreign players were lifted. However, there are a number of alternative theories which claim they were named so because their stadium was "camped" on the river bank, or because Los Indios (The Indians) were the traditional enemy of Los Blancos (The Whites), which is the nickname of the club's city rivals, Real Madrid.[9] Felipe VI, the king of Spain, has been the honorary president of the club since 2003.

The club co-owned the Indian Super League (ISL) franchise in Kolkata, formerly named Atlético de Kolkata, which won the competition twice, but in 2017 ended its partnership with the club as Sanjeev Goenka bought its shares.[10] Atlético also co-owns Liga MX club Atlético San Luis, and the Canadian Premier League side Atlético Ottawa.[11]


Foundation and first years (1903–1939)[edit]

Enrique Allende, first President of the club after its establishment in 1903

The club was founded on 26 April 1903[12] as Athletic Club Sucursal de Madrid by three Basque students living in Madrid. These founders saw the new club as a youth branch of their childhood team, Athletic Bilbao[12] who they had just seen win the 1903 Copa del Rey Final in the city. In 1904, they were joined by dissident members of Real Madrid.[13] The side began playing in blue and white halved shirts, the then colours of Athletic Bilbao, but by 1911, both the Bilbao and Madrid teams were playing in their current colours of red and white stripes. Some believe the change came about because red and white striped tops were the cheapest to make, as the same combination was used to make ticking for mattresses, and the unused cloth was easily converted into football shirts. This contributed to the club's nickname, Los Colchoneros.

An Athletic Madrid lineup of 1911 in their new red and white kit

However, another explanation is that both Athletic Bilbao and Athletic Madrid used to buy Blackburn Rovers' blue and white kits[14] in England.[15] In late 1909, Juanito Elorduy, a former player and member of the board of Athletic Madrid, went to England to buy kits for both teams but failed to find Blackburn kits to purchase; he instead bought the red and white shirts of Southampton (the club from the port city which was his embarkation point back to Spain).[16] Athletic Madrid adopted the red and white shirt, leading to them being known as Los Rojiblancos,[17][18] but opted to keep their existing blue shorts whereas the Bilbao team switched to new black shorts.[19] Athletic Bilbao won the 1911 Copa del Rey Final using several 'borrowed' players from Athletic Madrid, including Manolón [es] who scored one of their goals.[20]

Athletic's first ground, the Ronda de Vallecas, was in the eponymous working-class area on the south side of the city. In 1919, the Compañía Urbanizadora Metropolitana—the company that ran the underground communication system in Madrid—acquired some land, near the Ciudad Universitaria. In 1921, Athletic Madrid became independent of parent-club Athletic Bilbao and moved into a 35,800-seater stadium built by the company, the Estadio Metropolitano de Madrid.[21] The Metropolitano was used until 1966, when they moved to the new Estadio Vicente Calderón.[22] After the move, the Metropolitano was demolished and was replaced with university buildings and an office block belonging to the company ENUSA.

During the 1920s, Athletic won the Campeonato del Centro three times and were Copa del Rey runners-up in 1921, where they faced parent club Athletic Bilbao, as they would again in 1926. Based on these successes, in 1928 they were invited to join the Primera División of the inaugural La Liga played the following year. During their debut La Liga campaign, the club were managed by Fred Pentland, but after two seasons they were relegated to Segunda División. They briefly returned to La Liga in 1934 but were relegated again in 1936 after Josep Samitier took over in mid-season from Pentland. The Spanish Civil War gave Los Colchoneros a reprieve, as Real Oviedo was unable to play due to the destruction of their stadium during the bombings. Thus, both La Liga and Athletic's relegation were postponed, the latter by winning a playoff against Osasuna, champion of the Segunda División tournament.

Athletic Aviación de Madrid (1939–1947)[edit]

By 1939, when La Liga had resumed, Athletic had merged with Aviación Nacional of Zaragoza to become Athletic Aviación de Madrid. Aviación Nacional had been founded in 1939 by members of the Spanish Air Force. They had been promised a place in the Primera División for the 1939–40 season, only to be denied by the RFEF. As a compromise, this club merged with Athletic, whose squad had lost eight players during the Civil War. The team were awarded a place in the 1939–40 La Liga campaign only as a replacement for Real Oviedo. With the legendary Ricardo Zamora as manager, the club subsequently won their first La Liga title that season and retained the title in 1941. The most influential and charismatic player of these years was the captain Germán Gómez, who was signed from Racing de Santander in 1939. He played eight consecutive seasons for the Rojiblancos until the 1947–48 campaign. From his central midfield position, he formed a legendary midfield alongside Machín and Ramón Gabilondo. In 1941, a decree issued by Francisco Franco[23] banned teams from using foreign names and the club became Atlético Aviación de Madrid. In 1947, the club decided to drop the military association from its name and settled on its current name of Club Atlético de Madrid. The same year saw Atlético beat Real Madrid 5–0 at the Metropolitano, their biggest win over their cross-town rivals to date.[24]

Golden age (1947–1965)[edit]

Helenio Herrera won two Liga titles as Atlético manager.

Under Helenio Herrera and with the help of Larbi Benbarek, Atlético won La Liga again in 1950 and 1951. With the departure of Herrera in 1953, the club began to slip behind Real Madrid and Barcelona and for the remainder of the 1950s were left to battle it out with Athletic Bilbao for the title of third team in Spain.

However, during the 1960s and 1970s, Atlético Madrid seriously challenged Barcelona for the position of second team. The 1957–58 season saw Ferdinand Daučík take charge of Atlético, where he led them to second place in La Liga. This resulted in Atlético qualifying for the 1958–59 European Cup since the winners, Real Madrid, were the reigning European champions. Inspired by Brazilian centre-forward Vavá and Enrique Collar, Atlético reached the semi-finals after beating Drumcondra, CSKA Sofia and Schalke 04.[25] In the semi-finals, they met Real Madrid, who won the first leg 2–1 at the Santiago Bernabéu while Atlético won 1–0 at the Metropolitano.[26] The tie went to a replay and Real won 2–1 in Zaragoza.[27]

Atlético, however, gained their revenge when, led by former Real coach José Villalonga, they defeated Real in two successive Copa del Rey finals in 1960 and 1961. In 1962, they won the European Cup Winners' Cup, beating Fiorentina 3–0 after a replay.[28] This achievement was significant for the club, as the Cup Winners' Cup was the only major European trophy that Real Madrid never won. The following year the club reached the 1963 final, but lost to English side Tottenham Hotspur 5–1.[29] Enrique Collar, who continued to be an influential player during this era, was now joined by the likes of midfielder Miguel Jones and midfield playmaker Adelardo.[30]

Atlético's best years coincided with dominant Real Madrid teams. Between 1961 and 1980, Real Madrid dominated La Liga, winning the competition 14 times. During this era, only Atlético offered Real any serious challenge, winning La Liga titles in 1966, 1970, 1973 and 1977 and finishing runners-up in 1961, 1963 and 1965. The club had further success winning the Copa del Rey on three occasions in 1965, 1972 and 1976. In 1965, when they finished as La Liga runners-up to Real after an intense battle for the title, Atlético became the first team to beat Real at the Bernabéu in eight years.

European Cup Finalists (1965–1974)[edit]

Significant players from this era included the now-veteran Adelardo and regular goalscorers Luis Aragonés, Javier Irureta and José Eulogio Gárate, the latter winning the Pichichi three times in 1969, 1970 and 1971. In the 1970s, Atlético also recruited several Argentine players, signing Rubén Ayala, Panadero Díaz and Ramón "Cacho" Heredia as well as coach Juan Carlos Lorenzo. Lorenzo believed in discipline, caution and disrupting the opponents' game, and although controversial, his methods proved successful—after winning La Liga in 1973, the club reached the 1974 European Cup Final.[31] On the way to the Final, Atlético knocked out Galatasaray, Dinamo București, Red Star Belgrade and Celtic.[32] In the away leg of the semi-final against Celtic, Atlético had Ayala, Díaz and substitute Quique all sent off during a hard-fought encounter in what was reported as one of the worst cases of cynical fouling the tournament has seen. Because of this cynicism, they managed a 0–0 draw, which was followed by a 2–0 victory in the return leg with goals from Gárate and Adelardo.[33] The Final at Heysel Stadium, however, was a loss for Atlético. Against a Bayern Munich team that included Franz Beckenbauer, Sepp Maier, Paul Breitner, Uli Hoeneß and Gerd Müller, Atlético played above themselves. Despite missing Ayala, Díaz and Quique through suspension, they went ahead in extra-time with only seven minutes left. Aragonés scored with a superb, curling free-kick that looked like the winner, but in the last minute of the game, Bayern defender Georg Schwarzenbeck equalized with a stunning 25-yarder that left Atlético goalkeeper Miguel Reina motionless.[34] In a replay back at Heysel two days later, Bayern won convincingly 4–0, with two goals each from Hoeneß and Müller.[34]

The Aragonés years (1974–1987)[edit]

Luis Aragonés, Atlético's top scorer of all time, four-time club manager and most successful manager

Shortly after the defeat in the 1974 European Cup Final, Atlético appointed their veteran player Luis Aragonés as coach. Aragonés subsequently served as coach on four separate occasions, from 1974 to 1980, from 1982 to 1987, once again from 1991 until 1993 and finally from 2002 to 2003. His first success came quickly as Bayern Munich had refused to participate in the Intercontinental Cup because of fixture congestion,[35] and as European Cup runners-up, Atlético were invited instead. Their opponents were Independiente[35] of Argentina and, after losing the away leg 1–0, they won the return leg 2–0 with goals from Javier Irureta and Rubén Ayala.[36] Aragonés subsequently led the club to further successes in the Copa del Rey in 1976 and La Liga in 1977.

During his second spell in charge, Aragonés led the club to a runners-up finish in La Liga and a winner's medal in the Copa del Rey, both in 1985. He received considerable help from Hugo Sánchez, who scored 19 league goals and won the Pichichi. Sánchez also scored twice in the cup final as Atlético beat Athletic Bilbao 2–1. Sánchez, however, only remained at the club for one season before his move across the city to Real Madrid. Despite the loss of Sánchez, Aragonés went on to lead the club to success in the Supercopa de España in 1985 and then guided them to the European Cup Winners' Cup final in 1986. Atlético, however, lost their third successive European final, this time 3–0 to Dynamo Kyiv.[37][38]

The Transition years (1987–2005)[edit]

Radomir Antić managed Atlético in three stints during the ownership of Jesús Gil, winning a league and cup double in 1996.

In 1987, controversial politician and businessman Jesús Gil became club president, running the club until his resignation in May 2003.[39]

Atlético had not won La Liga for 10 years and were desperate for league success. Right away, Gil spent heavily, bringing in a number of expensive signings, most notably Portuguese winger Paulo Futre, who had just won the European Cup with Porto.[40] All the spending, however, only brought in two consecutive Copa del Rey trophies in 1991 and 1992 as the league title proved elusive. The closest Atlético came to the La Liga trophy was the 1990–91 season when they finished runners-up by 10 points to Johan Cruyff's Barcelona. In the process, Gil developed a ruthless reputation due to the manner in which he ran the club. In pursuit of league success, he hired and fired a number of high-profile head coaches, including César Luis Menotti, Ron Atkinson, Javier Clemente, Tomislav Ivić, Francisco Maturana, Alfio Basile as well as club legend Luis Aragonés.

Jesús Gil also closed down Atlético's youth academy in 1992,[41] a move that would prove significant due to 15-year-old academy member Raúl who, as a result, went across town to later achieve worldwide fame with rivals Real Madrid.[42] The move came as part of the overall Gil-initiated business restructuring of the club; Atlético became a Sociedad Anónima Deportiva, a corporate structure benefiting from a then-recently introduced special legal status under Spanish corporate law, allowing individuals to purchase and trade club shares.

In the 1994–95 league campaign, Atlético only avoided relegation via a draw on the last day of the season. This prompted another managerial change along with a wholesale squad clearance during the summer 1995 transfer window. Somewhat unexpectedly, in the following 1995–96 season, newly arrived head coach Radomir Antić, with a squad including holdovers Toni, Roberto Solozábal, Delfí Geli, Juan Vizcaíno, José Luis Caminero, Diego Simeone and Kiko, as well as new acquisitions Milinko Pantić, Luboslav Penev, Santi Denia and José Francisco Molina finally delivered the much sought-after league title as Atlético won the La Liga/Copa del Rey double.[12]

The next season, 1996–97, saw the club take part in the UEFA Champions League for the first time. With expectations and ambitions raised, the most notable summer transfer signings were striker Juan Esnáider from Real Madrid and Radek Bejbl, who was coming off a great showing for Czech Republic at Euro 1996. Playing on two fronts, Atlético fell out of the league title contention early while, in the Champions League, they were eliminated by Ajax in extra-time in the quarter-finals. Before the 1997–98 season, the heavy spending continued with the signings of Christian Vieri and Juninho. All of the success, however, produced little change in the overall Gil strategy, and although Antić survived three consecutive seasons in charge, he was replaced during the summer of 1998 with Arrigo Sacchi, who himself only remained in the managerial hot seat for less than six months. Antić then returned briefly in early 1999 only to be replaced with Claudio Ranieri at the end of the season. The 1999–2000 season proved disastrous for Atlético. In December 1999, Gil and his board were suspended pending an investigation into the misuse of club funds, with government-appointed administrator José Manuel Rubí running Atlético's day-to-day operations. With the removal of club President Jesús Gil and his board, the players performed poorly and the club floundered. Ranieri handed in his resignation with the club sitting 17th out of 20 in the league table and heading towards relegation. Antić, returning for his third coaching stint, was unable to prevent the inevitable. Despite reaching the Copa del Rey final in 2000, Atlético were relegated second time after 66 years.[43]

Atlético spent two seasons in the Segunda División, narrowly missing out on promotion in 2000–01 season before winning the Segunda División championship in 2002. It was again Luis Aragonés, in his fourth and last spell as manager of Atlético, who brought them back to the Primera División.[44] He also coached the team during the next season, and gave Fernando Torres his La Liga debut.[45]

Aguirre era (2006–2009)[edit]

In 2006, Atlético signed Portuguese midfielders Costinha and Maniche, as well as Argentine forward Sergio Agüero.[46] In July 2007, Fernando Torres left the club for Liverpool for €38 million,[47] while Luis García signed for the club at the same time in an unrelated transfer.[47] The club also bought Uruguay international and former European Golden Boot and Pichichi winner Diego Forlán for roughly €21 million from Villarreal.[48] Other additions included Portuguese winger Simão Sabrosa from Benfica for €20 million and winger José Antonio Reyes from Arsenal for €12 million.[49][50]

In July 2007, the Atlético board reached an agreement with the City of Madrid to sell the land where their stadium was located and move the club to the City-owned Olympic Stadium. The stadium changed hands in 2016 and was bought by the club for €30.4 million.[51] Madrid had applied to host the 2016 Olympic Games, losing out to Rio de Janeiro.[52]

The 2007–08 season proved to be the most successful season for the club in the past decade. The team reached the round of 32 in the UEFA Cup, where they were defeated by Bolton Wanderers.[53] They also reached the quarter-final round of the Copa del Rey, where they were beaten by eventual champions Valencia. More significantly, the team finished the league season in fourth place, qualifying for the UEFA Champions League for the first time since the 1996–97 season.[54]

Diego Forlán scored 32 La Liga goals for Atlético in 2008–09, making him the top scorer in Spain and Europe.

On 3 February 2009, Javier Aguirre was dismissed from his post as manager after a poor start to the season, going without a win in six games. He later claimed that this was not accurate, and that he had left by mutual termination rather than through sacking.[55] There was public outrage after his dismissal, many believing he was not the cause of Atlético's problems, namely player Diego Forlán. He backed his former manager and said that, "Dismissing Javier was the easy way out, but he was not the cause of our problems. The players are to blame because we have not been playing well and we have been committing a lot of errors." This led to the appointment of Abel Resino as Atlético's new manager.[56]

Atlético's success continued in the latter half of the season when they placed fourth once again in the league table, securing a position in the playoff round of the UEFA Champions League. Striker Diego Forlán was crowned with the Pichichi and also won the European Golden Shoe after scoring 32 goals for Atlético that season.[57] Atlético saw this domestic success as an opportunity to reinforce their squad for the upcoming Champions League season. They replaced veteran goalkeeper Leo Franco with David de Gea from the youth ranks and signed promising youngster Sergio Asenjo from Real Valladolid. Atlético also purchased Real Betis defender and Spanish international Juanito on a free transfer.[58] Despite pressure from big clubs to sell star players Agüero and Forlán, Atlético remained committed to keeping their strong attacking base in the hopes for a successful new season.

The 2009–10 season, however, began poorly with many defeats and goals conceded. On 21 October, Atletico were hammered 4–0 by English club Chelsea in the Champions League group stage.[59] This defeat led Atletico's management to announce that manager Abel Resino had to leave.[60] After failing to sign Danish former footballer Michael Laudrup, Atlético Madrid made it official that the new manager for the rest of the season would be former player Quique.[61][62]

La Liga and European successes (2009–)[edit]

Radamel Falcao celebrating the club's win in the 2012 UEFA Europa League Final, in which he scored twice

With the arrival of Quique as coach in October 2009, Atlético improved in many of their competitions. Atlético continued to lag somewhat in La Liga during the 2009–10 season, finishing in ninth position, but managed to finish third in their 2009–10 UEFA Champions League group stage and subsequently entered the Europa League in the round of 32. Atlético went on to win the Europa League, beating English teams Liverpool[63] in the semi-finals and eventually Fulham[64] in the final held at HSH Nordbank Arena in Hamburg on 12 May 2010.[65][66] Diego Forlán scored twice, the second being an extra-time winner in the 116th minute, as Atlético won 2–1.[67]

It was the first time since the 1961–62 European Cup Winners' Cup that Atlético had claimed a European title. They also reached the Copa del Rey final on 19 May 2010, where they faced Sevilla, but lost 2–0 at Camp Nou in Barcelona.[68] By winning the Europa League, they qualified for the 2010 UEFA Super Cup against Inter Milan, winner of the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League. The match was played in Stade Louis II, Monaco on 27 August 2010. Atlético won 2–0 with goals from José Antonio Reyes and Sergio Agüero, Atlético's first win in the UEFA Super Cup.[69]

Atlético had a comparatively disappointing 2010–11 season, finishing only seventh in the League and being eliminated in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey and the group stage of the Europa League. This ultimately led to the departure of manager Quique before the conclusion of the season,[70] who was replaced with ex-Sevilla manager Gregorio Manzano.[71] Manzano secured the final Europa League place for Atlético. Manzano himself was replaced with Diego Simeone in December 2011 after a poor run of form in La Liga.[72][73]

Simeone led Atlético to their second Europa League win in the three years since its creation. Atlético beat Athletic Bilbao 3–0 in the final on 9 May 2012 at National Arena in Bucharest with two goals from Radamel Falcao and one from Diego.[74][75] By winning the Europa League again, Atlético qualified for the 2012 UEFA Super Cup against Chelsea, winner of the previous season's Champions League. The game was played at Stade Louis II, Monaco on 31 August 2012; Atlético won 4–1, including a hat-trick by Falcao in the first half. On 17 May 2013, Atlético beat Real Madrid 2–1 in the Copa del Rey Final in a tense match where both teams finished with 10 men. This ended a 14-year and 25-match winless streak in the Madrid derby. The 2012–13 season saw the club finish with three trophies in a little over a year.[76][77]

Simeone holding La Liga trophy on 23 May 2021

On 17 May 2014, a 1–1 draw at the Camp Nou against Barcelona secured the La Liga title for Atlético, their first since 1996, and the first title since 2003–04 not won by Barcelona or Real Madrid.[78] One week later, Atlético faced city rivals Real Madrid in their first Champions League final since 1974, and the first played between two sides from the same city. They took a first-half lead through Diego Godín and led until the third minute of injury time, when Sergio Ramos headed in an equaliser from a corner; the match went to extra time, and Real ultimately won 4–1.[79] Atlético reached a second Champions League final in three seasons in 2015–16, again facing Real Madrid, and lost on penalties after a 1–1 draw.[80] In 2018, they won their third Europa League title in nine years by beating Marseille 3–0 in the final at Stade de Lyon in Lyon, courtesy of a brace from Antoine Griezmann and a goal from club captain Gabi in what would be his last match for the club.[81] Atlético also won another UEFA Super Cup after beating Real Madrid 4–2 at the outset of the following season at the Lilleküla Arena in Tallinn.[82] On 22 May 2021, a 1–2 win at the José Zorrilla Stadium against Valladolid secured the La Liga title for Atlético, seven years after their last triumph.[83]


Real Madrid

Madrid derby in 2014

Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid are clubs with contrasting identities and different fates. While Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabéu proudly rises on Paseo de la Castellana in the wealthy Chamartín neighbourhood of northern Madrid, Atlético's former stadium, the less glamorous Vicente Calderón, stood in the central-south of Madrid 1.8 km from the city center in the working class barrio of Arganzuela. Historically, Real Madrid have long been seen as the establishment club. On the other side, Atlético Madrid were always characterized by a sentimiento de rebeldía, a sense of rebellion, although during the early Francisco Franco years, it was Atlético that was the preferred team of the regime. They were associated with the military airforce (renamed Atlético Aviación), until the regime's preferences moved towards Real Madrid in the 1950s.[84]

Certainly, the dictatorial state sought to make political capital out of Real Madrid's European Cup trophies at a time when Spain was internationally isolated; "Real Madrid are the best embassy we ever had", said Franco's foreign minister Fernando Maria de Castiella.[85] Such perceptions have had an important impact on the city's footballing identities, tapping into the collective consciousness. In this vein, Atlético fans were probably the originators, and are the most frequent singers, of the song, sung to the tune of the Real Madrid anthem, "Hala Madrid, hala Madrid, el equipo del gobierno, la vergüenza del país", "Go Madrid, go Madrid, the government's team, the country's shame."

Until recently, Atlético Madrid had struggled significantly in the derby, carrying a 14-year winless streak into the 2012–13 season. This spell ended, however, on 17 May 2013 after Atlético beat their city rivals 2–1 at the Santiago Bernabéu in the 2013 Copa del Rey Final, and continued on 29 September 2013 when they won a 1–0 victory, again at the Bernabéu.

FC Barcelona

Although less famous than the Derbi Madrileño, a historic rivalry exists between Atlético Madrid and Barcelona, which is also considered one of the "Classics" of Spanish football. Once lopsided in favor of the Catalan club, this rivalry has become competitive since the early 2010s, marked by events such as the 2016 Champions League knockout phase where Atletico Madrid upset Barcelona, the controversial departure of French striker Antoine Griezmann from the Madrid club to the Catalan club in 2019 (and his subsequent return in 2021 amid Barcelona's financial struggles), and the surprise move of Luis Suárez to Atlético in 2020, a move which saw the Uruguyan star play a crucial role in the team's championship run. However, by tradition and current affairs, the greatest rivalry is that which exists with its "merengues" neighbors.[86][87]

League record[edit]

Season to season[edit]

Chart of Atleti's finishing positions in the Spanish football league system
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1928–29 1 6th Quarter-finals
1929–30 1 10th Round of 32
1930–31 2 3rd Round of 32
1931–32 2 5th Round of 16
1932–33 2 2nd Round of 16
1933–34 2 2nd Round of 32
1934–35 1 7th Quarter-finals
1935–36 1 11th Round of 32
1939–40 1 1st Round of 16
1940–41 1 1st Quarter-finals
1941–42 1 3rd Quarter-finals
1942–43 1 8th Quarter-finals
1943–44 1 2nd Semi-finals
1944–45 1 3rd Quarter-finals
1945–46 1 7th Quarter-finals
1946–47 1 3rd Round of 16
1947–48 1 3rd Quarter-finals
1948–49 1 4th Quarter-finals
1949–50 1 1st Quarter-finals
1950–51 1 1st Quarter-finals
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1951–52 1 4th Round of 16
1952–53 1 8th Semi-finals
1953–54 1 11th Round of 16
1954–55 1 8th Round of 16
1955–56 1 5th Runners-up
1956–57 1 5th Round of 16
1957–58 1 2nd Round of 16
1958–59 1 5th Quarter-finals
1959–60 1 5th Winners
1960–61 1 2nd Winners
1961–62 1 3rd Round of 32
1962–63 1 2nd Quarter-finals
1963–64 1 7th Runners-up
1964–65 1 2nd Winners
1965–66 1 1st Quarter-finals
1966–67 1 4th Quarter-finals
1967–68 1 6th Semi-finals
1968–69 1 6th Quarter-finals
1969–70 1 1st Did not participate
1970–71 1 3rd Semi-finals
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1971–72 1 4th Winners
1972–73 1 1st Round of 32
1973–74 1 2nd Semi-finals
1974–75 1 6th Runners-up
1975–76 1 3rd Winners
1976–77 1 1st Round of 16
1977–78 1 6th Quarter-finals
1978–79 1 3rd Round of 64
1979–80 1 13th Semi-finals
1980–81 1 3rd Round of 16
1981–82 1 8th Quarter-finals
1982–83 1 3rd Round of 64
1983–84 1 4th Round of 16
1984–85 1 2nd Winners
1985–86 1 5th Quarter-finals
1986–87 1 7th Runners-up
1987–88 1 3rd Quarter-finals
1988–89 1 4th Semi-finals
1989–90 1 4th Round of 16
1990–91 1 2nd Winners
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1991–92 1 3rd Winners
1992–93 1 6th Round of 16
1993–94 1 12th Round of 16
1994–95 1 14th Quarter-finals
1995–96 1 1st Winners
1996–97 1 5th Quarter-finals
1997–98 1 7th Round of 16
1998–99 1 13th Runners-up
1999–2000 1 19th Runners-up
2000–01 2 4th Semi-finals
2001–02 2 1st Round of 64
2002–03 1 12th Quarter-finals
2003–04 1 7th Quarter-finals
2004–05 1 11th Semi-finals
2005–06 1 10th Round of 16
2006–07 1 7th Round of 16
2007–08 1 4th Quarter-finals
2008–09 1 4th Round of 16
2009–10 1 9th Runners-up
2010–11 1 7th Quarter-finals
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
2011–12 1 5th Round of 32
2012–13 1 3rd Winners
2013–14 1 1st Semi-finals
2014–15 1 3rd Quarter-finals
2015–16 1 3rd Quarter-finals
2016–17 1 3rd Semi-finals
2017–18 1 2nd Quarter-finals
2018–19 1 2nd Round of 16
2019–20 1 3rd Round of 32
2020–21 1 1st Round of 64
2021–22 1


Celebrations of Atlético Madrid after winning the 2013–14 La Liga title
Trophy cabinet

Domestic competitions[edit]

Winners (11): 1939–40, 1940–41, 1949–50, 1950–51, 1965–66, 1969–70, 1972–73, 1976–77, 1995–96, 2013–14, 2020–21[88]
Winners (10): 1959–60, 1960–61, 1964–65, 1971–72, 1975–76, 1984–85, 1990–91, 1991–92, 1995–96, 2012–13[89]
Winners (2): 1985, 2014[90]
Winners (1): 1947
Winners (1): 1951[91]

International competitions[edit]

Runners-up (3): 1973–74, 2013–14, 2015–16
Winners (1): 1961–62[92]
Runners-up (2): 1962–63, 1985–86
Winners (3): 2009–10, 2011–12, 2017–18[93]
Winners (3): 2010, 2012, 2018[94]
Winners (1): 1974

Awards & recognitions[edit]

International competition record[edit]

Atlético has played at the European stage regularly since its 1958–59 European Cup debut, subsequently entering the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup (1961–62), the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (1963–64), the UEFA Cup (1971–72) and the UEFA Super Cup (2009–10). Starting with the 1999–00 relegation Atlético did not qualify for European competitions for seven years, but from the 2007–08 season, it has taken part in either the Champions League or the UEFA Europa League every year, enjoying success in both competitions.

UEFA club coefficient ranking[edit]

As of 18 September 2020[101]
Rank Team Points
1 Germany Bayern Munich 111.000
2 Spain Barcelona 106.000
3 Spain Real Madrid 105.000
4 Spain Atlético Madrid 103.000
Italy Juventus


Current squad[edit]

As of 1 February 2022.[102]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK France FRA Benjamin Lecomte (on loan from Monaco)
2 DF Uruguay URU José Giménez (3rd captain)
4 MF Central African Republic CTA Geoffrey Kondogbia
5 MF Argentina ARG Rodrigo De Paul
6 MF Spain ESP Koke (captain)
7 FW Portugal POR João Félix
8 FW France FRA Antoine Griezmann (on loan from Barcelona)
9 FW Uruguay URU Luis Suárez
10 FW Argentina ARG Ángel Correa
11 MF France FRA Thomas Lemar
12 DF Brazil BRA Renan Lodi
No. Pos. Nation Player
13 GK Slovenia SVN Jan Oblak (vice-captain)
14 MF Spain ESP Marcos Llorente
15 DF Montenegro MNE Stefan Savić (4th captain)
16 MF Mexico MEX Héctor Herrera
17 DF Denmark DEN Daniel Wass
18 DF Brazil BRA Felipe
19 FW Brazil BRA Matheus Cunha
21 MF Belgium BEL Yannick Carrasco
22 DF Spain ESP Mario Hermoso
23 DF Mozambique MOZ Reinildo Mandava
24 DF Croatia CRO Šime Vrsaljko

Reserve team[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
26 MF Spain ESP Javi Serrano
27 FW Argentina ARG Giuliano Simeone
28 MF Spain ESP Alberto Moreno
31 GK Spain ESP Christian Gómez
32 DF Spain ESP Marco Moreno
33 GK Spain ESP Alejandro Iturbe
35 GK Spain ESP Antonio Gomís
36 FW Spain ESP Carlos Martín
No. Pos. Nation Player
37 DF Spain ESP Sergio Camus
38 DF Spain ESP Fran González
42 DF Spain ESP Manu Lama
44 DF Spain ESP Joan Rojas
47 DF Spain ESP Ibrahima Cámara
50 MF Spain ESP Pablo Barrios
57 DF Spain ESP Sergio Diez

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK Croatia CRO Ivo Grbić (at Lille until 30 June 2022)
DF Spain ESP Manu Sánchez (at Osasuna until 30 June 2022)
DF Argentina ARG Mariano Gómez (at Algeciras until 30 June 2022)
DF Argentina ARG Nehuén Pérez (at Udinese until 30 June 2022)
DF Colombia COL Santiago Arias (at Granada until 30 June 2022)
MF Morocco MAR Abde Damar (at Espanyol B until 30 June 2022)
MF Spain ESP Alberto Soto (at Atlético Ottawa until 30 November 2021)
MF Spain ESP Ismael Gutiérrez (at Málaga until 30 June 2022)
MF Uruguay URU Juan Sanabria (at Atlético San Luis until 30 June 2022)
MF Spain ESP Rodrigo Riquelme (at Mirandés until 30 June 2022)
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF Spain ESP Saúl (at Chelsea until 30 June 2022)
MF Spain ESP Vitolo (at Getafe until 30 June 2022)
FW Spain ESP Álvaro Morata (at Juventus until 30 June 2022)
FW Spain ESP Borja Garcés (at Leganés until 30 June 2022)
FW Spain ESP Cedric Teguia (at Celta de Vigo B until 30 June 2022)
FW Spain ESP Germán Valera (at Real Sociedad B until 30 June 2022)
FW Portugal POR Marcos Paulo (at Famalicão until 30 June 2022)
FW Spain ESP Sergio Camello (at Mirandés until 30 June 2022)
FW Spain ESP Víctor Mollejo (at Tenerife until 30 June 2022)


Technical staff[edit]

Diego Simeone, coach since 23 December 2011
Position Staff
Head coach Argentina Diego Simeone
Assistant manager Argentina Nelson Vivas
Goalkeeper coach Argentina Pablo Vercellone
Fitness coach Uruguay Oscar Ortega
Physiotherapists Spain Iván Ortega
Spain Jesús Vázquez
Spain Esteban Arévalo
Spain David Loras
Spain Felipe Iglesias Arroyo
Rehabilitation physios Spain Óscar Pitillas
Spain Alfredo Jarodich
Technical assistant Team Spain Carlos Menéndez
Spain Daniel Castro
Team delegate Spain Pedro Pablo Matesanz
Head of medical department Spain José María Villalón
Club doctor Spain Gorka de Abajo
Doctor Spain Óscar Luis Celada
Technical team Spain Cristian Bautista
Bulgaria Dimcho Pilichev
Spain Fernando Sánchez Ramírez
Spain Mario Serrano

Source: Atlético Madrid


The following coaches won at least one trophy while in charge with club
Name Period Trophies
Spain Ricardo Zamora 1939–46 2 La Liga, Supercopa de España
Spain Emilio Vidal [es] 1946–48 Copa Presidente FEF [es]
Argentina Helenio Herrera 1949–53 2 La Liga, Supercopa de España
Spain José Villalonga 1960–62 2 Copa del Rey, UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
Brazil Otto Bumbel 1964–65 Copa del Rey
Spain Domènec Balmanya 1965–66 La Liga
France Marcel Domingo 1969–72, 1979–80 La Liga
Austria Max Merkel 1971–73 La Liga, Copa del Rey
Spain Luis Aragonés 1974–80, 1982–87, 1991–93, 2001–03 Intercontinental Cup, La Liga, 3 Copas del Rey, Supercopa de España, Segunda División, Iberian Cup
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Tomislav Ivić 1990–91 Copa del Rey
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Radomir Antić 1995–98 La Liga, Copa del Rey
Spain Quique Sánchez Flores 2009–11 UEFA Europa League, UEFA Super Cup
Argentina Diego Simeone 2011– 2 La Liga, 2 UEFA Europa League, 2 UEFA Super Cup, Copa del Rey, Supercopa de España


Enrique Cerezo, current president of Atlético
  • 1. Enrique Allende (1903)
  • 2. Eduardo de Acha (1903–07)
  • 3. Ricardo de Gondra (1907–09)
  • 4. Ramón de Cárdenas (1909–12)
  • 5. Julián Ruete (1912–19)
  • 6. Álvaro de Aguilar (1919–20)
  • 7. Julián Ruete (1920–23)
  • 8. Juan de Estefanía (1923–26)
  • 9. Luciano Urquijo (1926–31)
  • 10. Rafael González (1931–35)
  • 11. José L. del Valle (1935–36)
  • 12. José María Fernández (1936–39)
  • 13. Francisco Vives (1939)
  • 14. Luis Navarro (1939–41)
  • 15. Manuel Gallego (1941–45)
  • 16. Juan Touzón (1946–47)
  • 17. Cesáreo Galindez (1947–52)
  • 18. Marqués de la Florida (1952–55)
  • 19. Jesús Suevos (1955)
  • 20. Javier Barroso (1963–64)
  • 21. Vicente Calderón (1964–80)
  • 22. Ricardo Irezábal (1980)
  • 23. Alfonso Cabeza (1980–82)
  • 24. Antonio del Hoyo (1982)
  • 25. Agustín Cotorruelo (1982)
  • 26. Vicente Calderón (1982–87)
  • 27. Francisco Castedo (1987)
  • 28. Jesús Gil (1987–2003)
  • 29. Enrique Cerezo (2003–)

Current board[edit]

Recent seasons[edit]

Season Div. Pos. Pld W D L GF GA Pts Cup Europe Notes
2002–03 1D 11th 38 12 11 15 51 56 47 Quarter-final
2003–04 1D 7th 38 15 10 13 51 53 55 Quarter-final
2004–05 1D 11th 38 13 11 14 40 34 50 Semi-final Final UEFA Intertoto Cup
2005–06 1D 10th 38 13 13 12 45 37 52 Round of 16
2006–07 1D 7th 38 17 9 12 46 39 60 Round of 16
2007–08 1D 4th 38 19 7 12 66 47 64 Quarter-final UC Round of 32*
2008–09 1D 4th 38 20 7 11 80 57 67 Round of 16 UCL Round of 16 Forlán won the Pichichi and Golden Shoe with 32 goals.
2009–10 1D 9th 38 13 8 17 57 61 47 Final UEL Winner UCL – Out in Group stage
2010–11 1D 7th 38 17 7 14 62 53 58 Quarter-final UEL Group stage Win UEFA Super Cup
2011–12 1D 5th 38 15 11 12 53 46 56 Round of 32 UEL Winner 12 wins in a row in European competitions
2012–13 1D 3rd 38 23 7 8 65 31 76 Winner UEL Round of 32 Win UEFA Super Cup
2013–14 1D 1st 38 28 6 4 76 25 90 Semi-final UCL Final Final Supercopa
2014–15 1D 3rd 38 23 9 6 67 29 78 Quarter-final UCL Quarter-final Win Supercopa
2015–16 1D 3rd 38 28 4 6 63 18 88 Quarter-final UCL Final
2016–17 1D 3rd 38 23 9 6 70 27 78 Semi-final UCL Semi-final
2017–18 1D 2nd 38 23 10 5 58 22 79 Quarter-final UEL Winner UCL – Out in Group stage
2018–19 1D 2nd 38 22 10 6 55 29 76 Round of 16 UCL Round of 16 Win UEFA Super Cup
2019–20 1D 3rd 38 18 16 4 51 27 70 Round of 32 UCL Quarter-final Final Supercopa
2020–21 1D 1st 38 26 8 4 67 25 86 Round of 64 UCL Round of 16

Note: Atlético reached the 2007–08 UEFA Cup Round of 32 as qualified from the UEFA Intertoto Cup.

Stadium and facility[edit]

The club played their home games at the 54,990[104] seat Estadio Vicente Calderón in southern Madrid until 2017. Before this, the club played originally at the Ronda de Vallecas until 1923. After the completion of the Estadio Metropolitano de Madrid in 1923, the club moved there until the Vicente Calderón was finished in 1966.

Wanda Metropolitano home of Atlético

The club plays in the renovated Wanda Metropolitano, which was expanded from a 20,000 seat capacity to 68,000 after it was used for Madrid's failed bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. The Vicente Calderón was demolished in July 2020, and replaced by a waterfront park at the banks of the Manzanares River in Madrid.[105] On 17 September 2017, the renovated Metropolitano Stadium hosted its first competitive match against Malaga CF, in which King Felipe VI attended. Antoine Griezmann scored the club's first goal at the stadium.[106]

Training ground[edit]

The club's training ground is the Ciudad Deportiva Atlético de Madrid in Majadahonda, around 20 km west of Madrid. The facility maintains grass and artificial patches as well as a gym. Both the senior and youth squads train at the club-owned facilities.[107]

Atlético also runs a sports academy at the Ciudad Deportiva del Nuevo Cerro del Espino in Majadahonda. The club also runs an academy in Bucharest, Romania, its first in Europe.[108]

Pakistani Academy[edit]

In October 2018, Atletico De Madrid announced their first academy in Pakistan which was based in Lahore, which was the first European football academy in Pakistan. In April 2019, they launched "Football School Program" in Lahore. In October 2019, Atletico De Madrid conducted talents in Lahore.[109] In February 2020, Pakistan Football Federation announced the 2020–21 Football Federation League in which Atletico Madrid Lahore was included in Group C and was made a professional Pakistani football club.[110] It made its debut against Hazara Coal and won by 2–0.

Kit suppliers and shirt sponsors[edit]

Atlético players with kits stating "Azerbaijan Land of Fire"
Atlético de Madrid's bus, decorated with red and white colours

Atlético began playing in blue and white, mirroring then-parent club Athletic Bilbao, but both changed to red-and-white stripes by 1911 which became their traditional colours. The change took hold because red and white striped tops were the cheap to make, as the same combination was used to make bed mattresses, and the unused cloth was easily converted into football shirts. The kit has been made by Nike since 2001, as the company wants to provide competition with rival brand Adidas, who have a long-term deal with Real Madrid.

The club's main shirt sponsorship by the government of Azerbaijan between 2012 and 2014, featuring the slogan 'Land of Fire', was condemned by Reporters Without Borders, who satirized it in a campaign visual in which the shirt's vertical stripes become prison bars with the logo "Azerbaijan, Land of Repression".[111] Atlético Madrid admitted its sponsorship deal had a political dimension, saying the intention was to "promote the image of Azerbaijan".[112] In August 2014, the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights wrote to Atlético, calling on it to end the sponsorship by and promotion of Azerbaijan because of the country's human rights record, calling it "one of the most repressive countries in the world".[113]

Previously, the club was sponsored by Columbia Pictures, who would change the shirt sponsor's logo, and occasionally the shirt itself, as they did with the away shirt when Spider-Man 2 was in cinemas.[114] Because shirts would have to be introduced and removed from shops at a very fast pace to keep up with film releases, Nike decided to not include a sponsor's logo on replica shirts made from 2002 to 2005.

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt Sponsors
1980–1986 Meyba None
1986–1989 Puma None
1989–1990 Mita
1990–1993 Marbella*
1993–1994 Antena 3
1994–1996 Marbella*
1996–1997 Bandai/Tamagotchi
1997–1998 Marbella*
1998–1999 Reebok
1999–2000 None
2000–2001 Idea
2001–2002 Nike
2002–2003 Century
2003–2005 Columbia Pictures**
2005–2011 KIA
March–May 2012 Rixos Hotels (Liga only, except v. R. Madrid)
May–December 2012 Huawei
2012–2014 Azerbaijan Land of Fire
2014–2015 Baku 2015
2015– Plus500
2018– Hyundai[115] (co-sponsor)
2019– Ria Money Transfer (co-sponsor)


Celebrities Joaquín Sabina, Belén Esteban, Birgitte V. Gade, Leiva, Álvaro Bautista, Dani Martin, Ana Rosa Quintana, Javier Bardem, Sara Carbonero, Pablo Iglesias Turrión, El Langui, Pedro Sánchez, Luis de Guindos, Rosendo Mercado, José Tomás, Cayetano Martínez de Irujo, David Muñoz, Will Smith, Harrison Ford, Halle Berry, Tom Cruise, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel, Charlize Theron and Karl-Anthony Towns are all fans of the club.[116][117] Atlético is also supported by King Felipe VI, who became Honorary President of the club in 2003.[118]

Notable players[edit]

Adelardo holds the club's official appearance record, wearing the Atlético shirt in 551 matches from 1959 to 1976, while Adrián Escudero has the record for most goals in La Liga with 150. João Félix is the club's most expensive signing at €126 million, and at €120 million Antoine Griezmann is the club's biggest sale.

See also[edit]


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