I love Atleti. There’s no question about it.
But does Atleti love me?
Atlético Madrid is my abuser, my tormenter, my baby.
In a hazy daze of red and white, I wonder, do the club’s colours symbolise: red, for the incessant bloodletting of its rich history?
Or white, for the white flag of surrender beckoning for supporters to pick up and wave to end the suffering?
The club’s current state of affairs is a mishmash of mediocrity: incompetent, corrupt owners; a series of inept sporting directors hijacked by money-hungry agents; a deranged manager described by a member of the directive council as a “walking corpse”; on-loan players and suspected mercenaries; a staggering, crippling debt; no plan or direction whatsoever while stranded in treacherous waters in the league standings; and us, the wounded faithful.
A tumultuous winter looms in which yet another coach will be axed. His replacement will arrive offering promises that in the end, like others before, will be broken. Players will no doubt be sent packing for a fraction of what they cost, while others will be brought in at laughably inflated prices.
And there isn’t a damned thing we can do to stop it. All we can do is sit back and brace for the inevitable implosion.
While we can live in denial, convincing ourselves that we will pull through the rut, harking back to two seasons ago when we miraculously lifted two continental trophies in a matter of months, the fact of the matter is, there is no future until the club is released from the bonds of its criminal captors.
Until then, we will continue to be a running gag, the joke of La Liga.
Surely, most of us will choose red over white, and our weekly bloodshed will continue.
Let’s just hope we still have a pulse when the two above don’t.