Ateltico Madrid’s Fortress Vicente Calderon
To some people who don’t take a keen interest in Spanish football, looking and seeing Atletico Madrid sitting in 2nd place seven points clear of Real Madrid may come as a bit of a shock. However, for those that do take an interest, it’s no real surprise Atletico are the dominant force in Madrid as it stands.
The Rojiblancos have won each and every one of their last 19 home games, and haven’t conceded at The Estadio Vicente Calderon in their last 7 league games. They’re nine points behind Barcelona and seven clear of Real Madrid, so can they potentially break the monopoly of the El Clasico giants?
Atleti aren’t a side littered with superstars like their city rivals. They have a strong team ethic and they work hard for each other, a philosophy that comes from manager Diego Simeone. They do however possess players capable of genius, particularly Falcao. The Columbian has netted 18 times in the league.
It’s not just Falcao they rely on, they have other players capable of producing magic. Turkish international Arda Turan, Brazilian Filipe Luis, Uruguayan Christian Rodriquez, and Spaniard Adrian Lopez. The problem for Atletico will come summer time will they be able to hold on to their stars? Particularly with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois heading back to Chelsea after his loan spell.
The Colchoneros are not financially well off and any player they sign, the money comes from a player sale, very similar to Everton for example, apart from on a grander scale. Take the signing of Radamel Falcao, he cost 35 million euros. The funds for the signing came from the sales of David De Gea and Sergio Aguero to the two Manchester clubs.
So with 16 games to go, can Atletico hold on to second? There’s no reason why not! They’re only 9 points behind Barcelona and with Atletico to play Barca at the Vicente Calderon it could take the gap to 6 points, then who knows? Could the potentially impossible happen and could Atletico win the league. Probably not, but there is the chance for them to finish above Real Madrid for the first time in 17 years, which to the Los Indios, it’ll be a massive success.