Atletico de Madrid
If you are a romantic football fan you must pay gratitude and respect to Atletico De Madrid. The club proved in the 2013-2014 season that money, although being a crucial factor in today's football, is not the essence of it all. With half and sometimes a quarter of its components' budget Atletico Madrid was able to win the Spanish championship (La Liga) and be the runner up of the Champions League.
Only when you have the financial realities of football in mind can you fully appreciate this remarkable achievement of the club.
Atletico Madrid was founded in 1903. In 1911 it adopted the red and white stripes shirts that have been used as its uniform up until today. Their nickname, Los Colchoneros (The mattresses makers) was born then, since the red and white stripes were commonly seen as covers of mattresses of the time. Atletico Madrid is one of the biggest football clubs in Spain. Among its list of trophies there are 10 La Liga championships, 10 wins of Copa Del Rey, 2 Spain Super Cups, 1 win of the Europen Cup Winners ( a tournament that is no longer played), 2 UEFA Europa League titles and 2 UEFA Super Cups.
Remarkable moments of glory in the history of the club in the 20th century are:
The back to back wins of La Liga in 1950 and 1951 with Helenio Herreira as its coach.
The early 1960s in which it won the Copa Del Rey for 2 consecutive times beating its biggest rival Real Madrid in the two finals.
Winning the 1962 Europen Cup Winners' Cup and being the runner up in the final of this same tournament in 1963.
Being the runner up of the European Cup in 1974.
The consecutive wins of Copa Del Rey in 1991 and 1992.
Winning the double titles of Spain in 1996.
Atletico Madrid has always fought against the giant clubs of Real Madrid and FC Barcelona and their hegemony in the Spanish football. Its most remembered squad is the one of the 1970s that won many titles with legendary local players such as Luis Aragones (later served as a coach for about 20 years in 4 different periods), Elogio Garate and Javier Irureta.
Luis Aragones, the manager that led the Spanish national team to win the 2008 European Championship, stands out as the most iconic figure affiliated with Atletico Madrid. As a player Aragones holds the record of scores for the club, with 173 goals. As a manager he holds a record of winning trophies for the club with 8 trophies. The most remembered seasons under his management were the 1995-1996 season in which Atletico won both national titles and the 2001-2002 season in which he led Atletico back to the first division after it had been relegated. His demise in February 2014 is a moment that saddened all Atletico's fans.
After a long decade of absence from the important trophies winning lists, Atletico started gaining trophies again. Since 2010 it won 1 Spanish championship, 2 Spanish cups, 1 Spanish super cup, 2 UEFA Europa cups and 2 European super cups. With Diego Simeone, (one of the players in the 1995-1996 historical season) as its manager, it looks like Atletico Madrid has become a serious contender to Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. The 2013-2014 season stands out as one of the most remarkable years in the history of the club, being the runner up of the Champions League and winning La Liga title. The win of the Spanish championship (La Liga) title is most remarkable since Atletico surpassed Real Madrid and Barcelona with their huge budgets and their tremendous squads made of the best and most expensive players of today.
Some of the finest strikers of our times debuted or excelled in the club like: Fernando Torres, Diego Forlan, Sergio Aguero, Radamel Falcao and Diego Costa. The Stadium in which the club plays is the Vicente Calderon with capacity of 54,960 seats. The club is supposed to move to a new stadium which will contain 70,000 seats.
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