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Atlético Madrid

Atlético Madrid is a football (soccer) club from Spain.

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About Atlético Madrid

Club Atlético de Madrid, S.A.D., commonly known as Atlético Madrid, is a Spain Football (soccer) club based in Madrid who play in the Primera División of La Liga. Their home stadium is the Vicente Calderón Stadium, which currently holds up to 55,000 spectators. The club is one of the most successful in Spanish League history, having won both La Liga and the Copa del Rey on nine occasions, including a double in 1996. They also won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1961–62 in 1962, were European Cup 1973–74 runners-up in 1974 and Intercontinental Cup (football) winners in 1975.

During their history, the club have been known by a number of nicknames including Los Colchoneros or The Mattress Makers due to their first team stripes being the same colours as old-fashioned mattresses. During the 1970s they became known as Los Indios. This was allegedly due to the club signing several South American players after the restrictions on signing foreign players was lifted. However there are a number of counter theories which claim they were so named because their stadium is "camped" on the river bank or because Los Indios were the traditional enemy of Los Blancos — the whites. The latter nickname refers to the club's city rival Real Madrid C.F..


Club Atlético de Madrid, S.A.D.

The Club was founded on 9 October 1939. A previous club was originally founded on 26 April 1903 as Athletic Club de Madrid by three Basque people students living in Madrid. The founders saw the new club as a branch of Athletic Bilbao. In 1904 they were joined by dissident members of Real Madrid C.F.. They began playing in blue and white, as did Athletic Bilbao, but by 1911 they were playing in their current colours. The reason the club changed colours is not known for certain. However one theory is that red and white striped tops were the cheapest stripes to make because the same combination was used to make bed mattresses. The left over cloth was easily converted into football shirts. Although both Athletic Bilbao and Athletic Madrid started out with blue and white stripes, the discovery of a cheaper option probably persuaded them to change. The Madrid club did it first and they became known as Los Colchoneros—the mattress makers. Other more plausible account of the reason to change colours is that both Athletic Bilbao and Athletic Madrid used to buy Blackburn Rovers F.C. blue and white kits in England. Once in 1911 Juanito Elorduy, former player and member of the board of Athletic Madrid, went to England to buy kits for both teams. He did not find Blackburn Rovers kits and bought Sunderland A.F.C. red and white ones instead. Athletic Bilbao adopted Southampton full kit with red and white shirt and black shorts, whereas Athletic Madrid adopted the red and white shirt but kept Blackburn Rovers blue shorts.

First Atletico's ground, Ronda de Vallecas, was situated in the eponymous working-class area south 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. As part of that project the company built a sports stadium, named Estadio Metropolitano de Madrid. With a capacity for 35.800 spectators, in 1923 it was rented by Atlético de Madrid, which used it until 1966 when they moved to the new Estadio Vicente Calderón. After the move, the Metropolitano was demolished, being replaced with university buildings.

In 1921, Athletic Madrid became independent of Athletic Bilbao and by 1923, the club built its first stadium, the Metropolitano. During the 1920s Athletic won the Campeonato del Centro three times and in 1921 and 1926 they were Copa del Rey runners-up. Based on this record, they were invited to join the Primera División of the inaugural La Liga in 1928. During their debut La Liga season, the club were managed by Fred Pentland. However in 1930 they were relegated to Segunda División. They briefly returned to the Primera División in 1934, again with Pentland in charge. The club were relegated again in 1936 after Josep Samitier took over in mid-season from Pentland. However the Spanish Civil War gave the club a reprieve (because Real Oviedo was unable to play due to the destruction of their stadium during the bombings) and both La Liga and Athletic's relegation were postponed, the latter by winning a playoff against CA Osasuna (champion of the last played Segunda División tournament).

Athletic Aviación de Madrid

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 Real Federación Española de Fútbol. As a compromise this club merged with Athletic, whose squad had lost eight players in the Spanish Civil War. The team were awarded a place in the 1939–40 Primera División only as a replacement for Real Oviedo whose ground had been damaged during the war. With the legendary Ricardo Zamora as manager, the club subsequently won their first La Liga in 1940 and then retained the title in 1941. The most influential and charismatic player of these years was the captain German Gomez, signed from Racing Santander in 1939, playing for eight consecutive seasons for 'the rojiblancos', until the season 1947-48. From his centre-midfield position he formed a legendary midfield alongside Machín and Gabilondo. German won 6 caps with the Spanish national team, making his debut in Valencia on December 28th, 1941, in a 3-2 win against Switzerland. After his succesful careeer at Atlético, German went back to Santander to play for Racing, retiring in 1954.
In 1941, Language politics in Francoist Spain banned teams from using foreign names and the club became Atlético Aviacion 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 C.F. 5–0 at the Metropolitano; their biggest win over their cross-town rivals to date.

The golden age

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 C.F. and FC Barcelona and for the remainder of the 1950s they 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 Fernando Daucik take charge of Atlético and he led them to second place in La Liga. This resulted in Atlético qualifying for the 1958–59 seasons European Cup 1958–59 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 F.C., PFC CSKA Sofia and FC Schalke 04. In the semi-finals, they met Real Madrid. Real won the first leg 2–1 at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium while Atlético won 1–0 at the Metropolitano. The tie went to a replay and Real won 2–1 in Zaragoza.

Atlético, however, gained their revenge when, led by former Real coach José Villalonga Llorente, they defeated Real in two successive Copa del Rey finals in 1960 and 1961. In 1962 they won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1961–62 beating ACF Fiorentina 3–0 after a replay. In 1963 they reached the final of the same competition again, this time losing 5–1 to Tottenham Hotspur F.C.. 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 Rodríguez.

Unfortunately for Atlético fans, their best years coincided with a great Real Madrid team. Between 1961 and 1980, Real Madrid dominated La Liga with the club 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. They were also runners-up in 1961, 1963, and 1965 and won the Copa del Rey again 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 Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in eight years.

European Cup finalists

Significant players from this era included the now veteran Adelardo Rodríguez and regular goalscorers Luis Aragonés, Javier Irureta, and José Eulogio Gárate. The latter won the The Pichichi Trophy three times in 1969, 1970 and 1971. In the 1970s Atlético also recruited several Argentina employees, 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. Although controversial, his methods proved successful and after winning La Liga in 1973, the club reached the European Cup 1973–74 final in 1974. On the way to the final Atlético knocked out Galatasaray S.K., Dinamo Bucureşti, Red Star Belgrade and Celtic F.C. 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 worse 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. However the final at the Heysel Stadium proved to be a heart-breaker for Atlético. Against a FC 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. However in the last minute of the game Bayern defender Georg Schwarzenbeck equalized with a stunning 25 yarder that left the Atlético goalkeeper Miguel Reina motionless. In a replay, back in the Heysel, two days later Bayern won 4–0.

The Aragonés years

Shortly after the defeat in the European Cup 1973–74, Atlético appointed their veteran player Luis Aragonés as coach. Aragonés subsequently served as coach on four separate occasions (1974–80, 1982–87, 1991–93 and 2002–03). His first success came quickly. Bayern Munich had declined to participate in the Intercontinental Cup (football) and as runners-up, Atlético were invited instead. Their opponents were Club Atlético Independiente 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. 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 second in La Liga and a Copa del Rey in 1985. He received considerable help from Hugo Sánchez who scored 19 La Liga goals and won the The Pichichi Trophy. Sánchez also scored twice in the Copa final as Atlético beat Athletic Bilbao 2–1. However Sánchez only remained at the club one season before he move across the city to Real Madrid C.F.. 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. However Atlético lost their third successive European final, this time 3–0 to FC Dynamo Kyiv.

The Jesús Gil years

In 1987, controversial politician and businessman Jesús Gil became club president.

Atlético had not won La Liga for ten years and were desperate for success. Gil spent heavily, bringing in a number of expensive signings, most notably Paulo Futre. However, the title proved elusive and Gil developed a reputation for his ruthlessness. In pursuit of success, he hired and fired a number of head coaches, including César Luis Menotti, Ron Atkinson, Javier Clemente, as well as a returning club legend Luis Aragonés. He also closed down Atlético's youth academy in 1992, which at the time featured future superstar Raúl González, who would go across town to achieve worldwide fame at rivals Real Madrid.

In 1996, Radomir Antić, with a squad including José Luis Caminero, Luboslav Penev, Diego Simeone, Milinko Pantić, Juan Manuel López (footballer), and Kiko Narváez, finally delivered the much sought after league title as Atlético won the 1995-96 La Liga/Copa del Rey double. The heavy spending also continued with top signings Christian Vieri and Juninho Paulista arriving in the summer of 1997. However, all the success produced little change in the overall Gil strategy, and although Antić survived three consecutive seasons in charge he was replaced during summer 1998 by Arrigo Sacchi who himself remained in the managerial hot seat for less than 6 months. Antić then returned briefly in early 1999 only to be replaced by Claudio Ranieri. The 1999-00 season proved disastrous for Atlético. In December 1999, Gil and his board got suspended pending investigation into the misuse of club funds and government-appointed administrator José Manuel Rubí began running Atlético's day to day operations. With the sudden removal of Gil's strong presence, the club was in complete disarray and results on the pitch clearly reflected that. Ranieri handed in his resignation with the club in 17th spot out of 20 and heading towards relegation. The return of Antić for the third coaching stint failed to prevent the inevitable. Despite reaching the Copa del Rey final, Atlético were relegated.

Atlético spent two seasons in the Segunda División, narrowly missing out on promotion in 2001 before winning the Segunda División championship in 2002. It was again Luis Aragonés, on his last spell as a manager of Atlético, the manager who brought Atlético again to the Primera Division. He also coached the team during the next season, being the one who gave Fernando Torres the opportunity to make his debut in La Liga (at the Camp Nou against F.C. Barcelona, with a final score of 2-2).

Aguirre era

In 2006, Fernando Torres, one of the biggest talents in recent Spanish football history, was joined by Portugal national football team internationals Costinha, Maniche, and Argentine Sergio Agüero.

Torres shocked the club in June 2007 when he stated his desire to play for Liverpool F.C.. He left Atlético and joined the English giant on 4 July 2007 for Pound sterling26.5 million, £20 million of which was in cash, with the rest consisting of the rights to Luis Javier García Sanz. Around this same time, Atlético also made a splash by signing Uruguay national football team international and former European Golden Boot/Pichichi Trophy winner Diego Forlán for roughly €21 million from Villarreal CF. Several weeks later, the club gave up Bulgarian star Martin Petrov to Manchester City F.C., but got a replacement shortly after: Portuguese star Simão Sabrosa, signed from S.L. Benfica for roughly €20 million. On 29 July, it was announced that Atlético had signed winger José Antonio Reyes for €12 million.

In July 2007, the Atlético board reached an agreement with the city of Madrid to sell the land where the stadium is built and move the club to the Estadio La Peineta, owned by the city. Atlético will be allowed to play in Vicente Calderón stadium until 2010. The new stadium will be owned by the club on 2016, as the city is applying to host the 2016 Olympic Games.

The 2007-08 season proved to be the most successful season for the club in the last decade. The team reached the round of 32 of the UEFA Cup, where they were defeated by Bolton Wanderers F.C.. They also reached the Quarterfinal round of the Domestic Cup, the Copa del Rey, where they were beaten by eventual champions Valencia CF. More significantly, the team finished the La Liga season in 4th place, qualifying for Champions League Play. The return of UEFA Champions League football to the Vicente Calderon Stadium was the first time since the 1996/97 season, when Atlético lost in the quarter-final round to the Dutch powerhouse AFC Ajax. Sergio Agüero, Diego Forlán, Simão, Maxi Rodríguez, and goalkeeper Leo Franco led Atlético to its first Champions League appearance in more than ten years.

The 2008-09 season had proven to be another great stride forward in the resurrection of Club Atlético de Madrids reputation as a force to be reckoned with both in domestic and European Football, with participation continuing in the UEFA Champions League. However, recent performances in La Liga have not been as successful as the club would have liked. That season, Atlético added French people goalkeeper Grégory Coupet, Dutch people central defender John Heitinga, Czechs central defender Tomáš Ujfaluši, Brazilian people central midfielder Paulo Assunção, Argentina Midfielder Ever Banega (on loan from Valencia S.A.D., and French people forward Florent Sinama-Pongolle to the lineup, who join returning loanee Portuguese people central midfielder Maniche.

On 3 February 2009, Javier Aguirre was dismissed from his post as manager after a terrible start to 2009, not winning a game in 6 run outs. He later claimed this was simply not the case, and that he had been released by mutual termination rather than sacked. There was a public outrage after his dismissal, many believing he was not the cause of Atlético's problems, specifically player Diego Forlán who claimed "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." Abel Resino was confirmed as the new manager.

Abel Resino keeps Atlético in the Champions League

Atlético's success continued in the last season when they placed 4th once again in the league table, securing a position in the playoff round of the UEFA Champions League. Striker Diego Forlán was crowned Pichichi Trophy of the season and European Golden Shoe when he scored 32 goals for Atlético this season. Atlético is already seeing some strong changes to their lineup, with their veteran goalkeeper Leo Franco now departing and the promising young Real Valladolid star Sergio Asenjo expected to take his place. Atlético also purchased Real Betis defender and Spanish international Juan Gutiérrez Moreno. Despite pressure from big clubs to purchase their star players of Sergio Agüero and Forlán, Atlético remained committed to keeping their strong attacking base in the hopes for a successful new season.

However, the 2009-10 Atlético season began terribly with receiving many goals and defeats, performing poorly on both domestic and European stages. On October 21, Atletico was hammered 4-0 by the English giant Chelsea Football Club in the Champions League group stage. This defeat led to Atletico's management announcement that manager Abel Resino had to leave. After failing to sign Danish former footballer, Michael Laudrup, Atletico de Madrid made it official that the new manager for the rest of the season would be Quique Sánchez Flores.

El Derbi Madrileño

Real Madrid C.F. and Atlético Madrid are clubs with contrasting identities and very different fates. Historically, Real Madrid have long been seen as the The Establishment club. On the other side, the Rojiblancos 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, being associated with the military airforce, until the regime's preferences moved towards Real Madrid in the 1950s. That Franco's regime subsequently intervened to ensure success for Real Madrid for political and propaganda purposes is widely alleged and believed, although denied by many Real Madrid supporters.

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 one minister. 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 "Real Madrid, Real Madrid, el equipo del gobierno, la verguenza del país" ("Real Madrid, Real Madrid, the government's team, the country's shame").

The Santiago Bernabéu is bigger, alongside banks and businesses on the classy and Aristocracy (class) Castellana, while the Vicente Calderon Stadium can be found beside a brewery. Still, the atmosphere at the Vicente Calderón cannot be compared with the one at the Bernabéu. When Atlético is playing, the whole stadium is a party, full of joy, songs and noise in order to support their beloved team. On the contrary, attending to a game at the Bernabéu (with the exception of 'el derbi' or 'el clasico') is not much different than attending to a theater play, where everyone is silence and calm. This is one of the reasons why Real supporters have gained the nickname of 'pechofrios' (cold-chested).
Real Madrid draw greater support certainly because of its successes, while Atlético gain the majority of its friends from the passionate working-class south of the city and most of the young people.


Domestic competitions

- La Liga

- Copa del Rey

- Copa de la Liga

- Supercopa de España (It includes Copa Eva Duarte)

- Copa Presidente de la RFEF

- Segunda Division

Major european competitions

- UEFA Champions League

- UEFA Cup Winners' Cup

- UEFA Intertoto Cup

Major worldwide competitions

- Intercontinental Cup (football)

- 16 Participations in UEFA Champions League
- 8 Participations in Cup Winners Cup
- 18 Participations in Inter-Cities Fairs Cup/ UEFA Cup
- 3 Participations in Intertoto Cup
- 1 Partecipation in Intercontinental Cup
- 73 Seasons in La Liga
- 6 Seasons in Segunda División

The numbers are established according to the official website:

From Atlético B

Out on loan

see also


Famous coaches

: 1928–29, 1934–36
- Josep Samitier: 1936
- Ricardo Zamora: 1939–46
- Helenio Herrera 1949–53
- Fernando Daučík: 1957–60
- José Villalonga Llorente: 1959–62
- Domènec Balmanya: 1965–66
- Otto Glória: 1966–68
- Marcel Domingo; 1968–72, 1980
- Max Merkel: 1972–73
- Juan Carlos Lorenzo: 1973–75
- Luis Aragonés: 1974–80, 1982–87, 1991–93, 2001–03
- Martínez Jayo: 1980, 1986–87
- José Luis García Traid: 1980–81, 1981–82
- Luis Cid Carriega: 1981
- Héctor Núñez: 1978
- Ferenc Szusza: 1978–79
- Vicente Miera: 1986
- César Luis Menotti: 1987–88
- Ron Atkinson: 1988–89
- Colin Addison: 1989
- Javier Clemente: 1989–90
- Tomislav Ivić: 1990–91
- José Omar Pastoriza: 1993
- Francisco Maturana: 1993–94
- Jorge D’Alessandro: 1994–95
- Alfio Basile: 1995–96
- Radomir Antić: 1995–98, 1999, 2000
- Arrigo Sacchi: 1998–99
- Claudio Ranieri: 1999–2000
- Fernando Zambrano: 1999–2000
- Marcos Alonso:2000–01
- Gregorio Manzano: 2003–04
- César Ferrando: 2004–05
- Carlos Bianchi: 2005
- José Murcia : 2006
- Javier Aguirre: 2006–2009
- Abel Resino : 2009
- Quique Sánchez Flores: 2009

See also


- City - Madrid
- Capacity - 54,851
- Inauguration - 1966
- Pitch size - 105 × 70 m
- Other Facilities: - Ciudad Deportiva del Nuevo Cerro del Espino (Sports Academy)

Kit Information

Atlético currently wears its famous red-and-white stripes at home, while wearing black on the road. The kit has been made by Nike, Inc. for about six years, as Nike wants to provide competition against Real Madrid C.F., who have a deal with Adidas. The current shirt sponsor is Kia Motors, while the AXN cable channel (a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment) has a minor sponsorship on the back of the shorts and Kyocera has a sponsor's logo on the back of the shirt. 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) to a current film that Columbia had released. 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.

Previous shirt makers:
- 1985–98 Puma AG
- 1998–2001 Reebok
- 2001– Nike, Inc.

Previous shirt sponsors:
- 1989–90 Mita
- 1990–93, 1994–96, 1997–99 Marbella Tourism Board, as Jesús Gil was mayor of Marbella at this time
- 1993–94 Antena 3 (Spain)
- 1996–97 Bandai/Tamagotchi
- 1999–2000 no sponsor
- 2000–03 Idea
- 2003–05 Columbia Pictures (Movies advertised on the shirt included: Bewitched (movie), Hollywood Homicide, S.W.A.T. (movie), Hellboy (film), Spanglish (film), Resident Evil 2: Apocalypse, Hitch (movie), XXX (movie), and the aforementioned Spider-Man 2)
- 2005– Kia Motors

Superleague Formula

Atlético Madrid has a team in the Superleague Formula race car series where football teams lend their name to cars. They were latecomers to the 2008 Superleague Formula season with their first entry at the second round with Andy Soucek. Atlético Madrid and Soucek had limited amount of success in 2008. In the 2009 Superleague Formula season Dutch-Chinese driver Ho-Pin Tung drove for Atlético Madrid during the first half of the season. Ho-Pin Tung posted their best result to date with a second place at Circuit Zolder. María de Villota is the teams current driver. She is the first female to ever compete in the Superleague Formula series.


- Atlético Madrid B
- Trofeo Villa de Madrid (Trophy of Atlético Madrid).

Notes and references

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