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Atletico Madrid success in Spanish Football

26th April 2019 will mark the 116th anniversary of Atletico Madrid as a footballing institution. Founded as Athletic Club Sucursal de Madrid

Last updated: 25.04.2019
Team Atletico Madrid | Sports Social Blog

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26th April 2019 will mark the 116th anniversary of Atletico Madrid as a footballing institution. Founded as Athletic Club Sucursal de Madrid in 1903, the Spanish outfit is regarded amongst the world's best football clubs around the globe today.

However, Los Comancheros isn't a club backed by oil-rich owners or men flexing their financial muscles to buy success. Atletico have toiled hard throughout the years to be counted amongst the world's elite clubs.

As their founding name might give you a faint idea, Atletico Madrid was founded as a youth branch to Athletic Bilbao, by three Basque students residing in Madrid. It wasn't until 1921 when the club parted its' ways with Athletic Bilbao and formed a separate institution, moving to a new stadium called Estadio Metropolitano de Madrid.


Los Rojiblancos clinched their first-ever LaLiga title in season 1939-40 under the stewardship of Fred Pentland, but misery followed just two years later as they were relegated to the Segunda Division.

Golden Age (1947-1965)

Almost every football club in its past has had an epoch where it has been at its best. Same is the case with Atletico Madrid.

Los Comancheros' Golden Age kickstarted when the famous Helenio Herrera stepped into the dugout to steer the club to glory. The Uruguayan, best known for his invention of the Catenaccio style of play at Inter Milan, spearheaded Atletico to two La Liga titles in a five-year reign.

Why the said period time is referred to as the Golden epoch in the club's history is because they won a majority of their titles during this period. Atletico Madrid established themselves as a team to reckon in Europe by winning 5 league titles, 5 Copa Del Rey titles, 1 European Cup and 1 European Cup Winners' Cup title respectively.

The Simeone Years

Following a dark period in their history in which they won the La Liga title twice in the next 36 years, the Rojiblancos finally came to power under Diego Simeone. The Argentinian, already a legend in the club's history books revived Atletico to an extent where they successfully challenged the frightening duopoly of Barcelona and Real Madrid in the Spanish top-tier. With a scarcity of financial back-up coupled with the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid being led by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Simeone managed to lay his hands on the league title in season 2013/14, building on their Copa del Rey success the previous campaign.

Having been at the helm at club since 2011, Simeone has guided Atletico Madrid to 9 titles – a sum that includes that 2 Europa League triumphs, 2 UEFA Supercups, 1 LaLiga and 1 Copa del Rey cup. The Rojiblancos have also managed to win 2 UEFA Champions League runners-up medals with him in charge

While he enjoys the cult status as a legendary man at the club, Simeone also shares a large credit with a number of players who stayed put and helped in the revival of the club.

The likes of Juanfran, Gabi, Felipe Luis and Diego Godin have had a lion's share in carving out a place amongst the European heavyweights. While Atletico Madrid may lack enough financial muscle needed to compete with the elite clubs, they certainly have enough passion that will help them maintain their place amongst the best clubs in world football.

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