Atlético’s season for the record books

Diego Simeone's Atleti smashed several of the club's best marks ever

Diego Simeone

Simeone spurs historic Rojiblanco campaign

It’s hard to let go of Atlético at the end of a season and get accustomed to the long, boring weekends without the thrill of victory or the downers that come along with defeat.

Getting used to the idea that ‘El Tigre’ will no longer be leading the pack up top isn’t any fun either, so let’s instead take a look back at this historic 2012/13 campaign and all the records we broke under Diego Simeone’s first full season in command.

 The Trophies:

  • 2nd UEFA Super Cup (Chelsea 1 – 4 Atleti).
  • 10th Copa del Rey (Real Madrid 1 – 2 Atleti).
  • Perhaps the most impressive of all, the club’s 1st ever Peter Lim Charity Cup (Singapore Selection 0 – 2 Atleti).

The Team Records:

  • Best 3rd place team ever — No other third place team has ever finished with 76 points.
  • 16 straight wins in UEFA play — Simeone’s men shattered Ajax and Barcelona’s jointly-held record of 11 consecutive wins in European action, bringing the new mark up to 16 victories on the trot dating back to last season.
  • 23 consecutive matches unbeaten — Following last season’s loss at home to Real Madrid in league play, which took place on 11 April 2012, los Rojiblancos went on to go undefeated for 23 straight games until finally succumbing to Valencia at Mestalla on 3 November 2012.
  • Best league start in club history — After 13 games, Atleti had put together an 11 win, 1 draw and 1 loss record to begin the season, the club’s best start in their 75 campaigns in the Spanish top flight.
  • 14 straight league wins at Cholo Castle — Dating back to our final game at the Vicente Calderón of 2011/12 — a win against Málaga — los Colchoneros converted our home stadium into a veritable fortress, defeating the first 13 visitors to our ground in 2012/13.  The streak of 14 consecutive wins at home in La Liga play is a club record. Counting all competitions, Atleti had strung together 20 victories on the trot at the Calderón, until falling to Rubin Kazan on the 14th of February.

The Individual Records:

Thibaut Courtois

  • At 21 years of age, Thibaut Courtois became the youngest Zamora Trophy winner ever since the award was created by MARCA back in 1959. Thibaut broke Víctor Valdés’ four-year run of winning the prize with Barcelona.
  • The Belgian wonder, who has often professed his desire to stay in Madrid for at least another year, picked up 20 clean sheets in La Liga on his way to earning the prestigious accolade.  His shutout total was a club best for a single campaign. 
  • Since the 42nd minute of Osasuna’s visit on 28 October 2012 through the 53rd minute of Real Sociedad’s trip to the Calderón, not a single ball had been put past Courtois in league play. The total of 819 minutes without conceding a goal at home became a new club record, which was previously held by former goalkeeper Abel, who had gone 800 minutes without allowing our opponents to score back in the 1990/91 season.
  • ‘Tibu’ snatched another record from Abel, coincidentally, in the former ‘keeper’s presence: most minutes without conceding away from home. From the 32nd minute of our crosstown trip to Vallecas to face off against Rayo on the 10th of February, to the 83rd minute of our away game at Celta Vigo on the 8th of May, Courtois saved everything that came his way — setting Atlético’s new mark at 680 minutes without allowing a goal on the road.

Radamel Falcao 

  • He’s gone, so what’s the point, right? Wrong. It’s time to reminisce and appreciate just how remarkable ‘El Tigre’s’ two-year stint in red and white was. FalcaoMundo Deportivo reports, was the Rojiblanco striker to reach 50 league goals the fastest, achieving the mark in 64 games, 4 less than it took Baltazar to get to that figure, and 9 less than it took Forlán.
  • The Colombian’s 18 league goals in the first half of this season tied Baltazar’s record from 1988/89.
  • Falcao’s sublime 5-goal performance against Deportivo on the 9th of December was the first manita by an Atlético player in 54 years. Vavá was the only other Colchonero to perform the feat when he put 5 goals past Real Zaragoza.
  • 1st Atleti player to score more than 30 goals in back-to-back seasons (36 and 34).

Sources: MARCA, Mundo Deportivo, Atlético Madrid Official Website

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    on a comment on his last “The red and white aftermath” article I asked our friend Martin to write an article about the records that Atleti broke this season .. then after few days when he didn’t reply I asked him again on twitter, he said : “I’m actually working on it as we speak” !
    Thank you Martin, and Congrats for the Heat, and good luck in the final

    but I want to stop on 2 records :
    the best 3rd & the best start

    those 2 tell us how missed up la liga is, tell us how it’s weak and non-competitive .. and as there is a big gap between Real & Barca and the rest of la liga teams THERE IS ALSO A GAP BETWEEN ATLETI AND MANY OTHER TEAMS

    76 points do not only make us the best 3rd in la liga history, but also make us the best 3rd this season in all Europe’s top leagues, and maybe the weaker leagues, I didn’t check them but I’m sure if I did I’ll never find a 3rd place with this number of points or this average (in case of leagues with less than 20 teams)

    of course it means that Atleti is a strong team, but it also means that the others are weak .. very weak, I mean come on .. we made our best start in the season we finished 3rd and not in any of the 9 season in which we won the title!!
    this is madness

    I was arguing with a friend on this website who claimed that Atleti can compete for la liga title next season, I told him that we can collect 80 points, maybe a little more, but Real and Barca can reach 100 points
    in fact that what Simeone said before this season started, and that what happened, Barca 100 points, Atleti 76 (very close to 80)
    I’m even thinking that in the next seasons one of them could reach the 100th point and NOT win the title, because the other had more !!
    the total points are 114 .. so dropping 14 points is actually too much, with all their stars and their millions and against who?! the teams that every year are selling their best players, including Atleti who bought a player with 40 million and yet couldn’t keep him more than 2 seasons !!

    in the post about Adel Rami, Martin wrote : “Valencia have set his price tag at €12 million, a figure that Atleti simply cannot afford”
    cant afford 12 million !! while Barca bought Neymar with 54 and some reports said 72 million and Real is welling to pay 100 million to get Bale

    I think the other clubs of la liga should not and can not keep silent about the disgrace of broadcasting money distribution even if they had to go to the court !!

    it’s now a matter of life and death.

  • Rob

    Hey Martin, great article. I love reading all those impressive stats about our season.

  • Alex21

    I have to agree with Ahmad. It is sad and it’s disgraceful to the league. 76 points is a hell of a lot of points and only to come in 3rd by some margin? It’s nonsense. Things should definitely be discussed with the league officials, but lets be honest, they are probably real and barca fans.

    On another note, a wonderful season by atlético. This was the year hope had come through. We reached our preseason goal, won some hardware, and broke a 14 year drought. It makes me proud to be an Atleti supporter (although, find it slightly annoying by the amount of bandwagon fans as of 3 weeks ago).

    With the new signings coming in and those returning, i hope the chemistry can retain through next season. Looking forward to every bit of it.

  • kris

    Well done.It’s nice seeing Simeone achieve these and I am really happy for Thibaut. I hope we can seal a permanent deal with him. He’s made for us. We love him in Atleti and he loves us in Atleti.

  • kris

    Good news fans. I came across this article on Marca: Seems like we will be able to sign Toulalan and Diego. Diego looks like he will take pay cut to play in CL and also for a chance to play in the World Cup for Brazil. Let’s see what happens.

  • Javi

    This was certainly a fun season to watch. The team will sell more merchandise worldwide and we will be able to afford more and better players so we have a better chance to beat the two super teams in la liga. Finally…our long years of suffering have paid off.
    Aupa Atleti
    And lots of kudos to all the writers at this site and the comments form the fans. I read this everyday and get lots of information and joy from it.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    we can add to these records :

    *Filipe Luis came back to Brazil national team for the first time since 2010, while Miranda & Diego Costa appeared with them for the first time .. the same for Mario with La Roja

    *Falcao was selected in FIFA best XI

    *wee reached 60.000 members (few days ago they became 61.720)

    *and the most important, we finally beated Real Madrid after more than 13 years, in the Cup Final .. at Santiago Bernabeu

  • Excellent season for Atleti!! Grande el Cholo
    The team matured more and played well under Simeone’s unique style of play. If we keep all the players we have (except falcao) and work on the areas where we need players, we could do very well in Europe and in our domestic competition. Perhaps buy a striker a creative midfielder and a centre back and we could be a major threat to the other big teams in Spain and Europe

    Aupa Atleti!!

  • Elorm

    All i cn say is ”Awesome”

  • Athletics- Palestine

    Diego Ribas and toulalan are very close to vicente Calderon :))))
    Great news

  • Alex21

    I’m all for letting Diego in. But Toulalan? Where are we going to put him? Sell Tiago and have him as a sub for Mario? I don’t think it’s necessary. With the addition of Baptistao, i believe we should sell Adrian. and whatever happened to the Thailand player who tried out in the winter? Is Alejandro Gomez still coming? There’s almost too much talk of transfers. Where we gonna put them all..

  • athenssuper3

    alex if we don’t use koke as a cm we are going to need one more cm if we won’t to go far at all competitions(rotation reasons) if we remember this season bench was too weak that was the reason we couldn’t compete with real and barca at la liga and that’s the reason we had a poor europa league run.. toulalan is a really quality player for cm and if i’m right he is not too expencive.. after that we will need a decent cd as a sub(rami would be fantastic but 12mil are too much money) and perhaps a winger(alejandro gomez maybe) and a no 9 if we can buy negredo, soldado, yilmaz, benteke or gomez for not a lot of money then some of them if not the use costa as a lone striker, i don’t know if leo can be his sub(remember costa has two game ban at cl), and buy an anti-costa… almost forget it a goalkeeper, if he is not courtois(i would like buy him) then take a look at zaragosa’s roberto

  • EC

    Toulalan would be a definite starter if we signed him. He has been great for Malaga and in the champions league. He is on very high wages at Malaga though

  • Arjit

    I do agree toulalan is a very solid cm, I don’t ever want to see Raul Garcia play for us again. I don’t care how good he is at osasuna. I also personally don’t think we need too many players.

    I’d be happy with:

    Forwards: Adrian, Diego Costa, Leo Baptistao, Pizzi

    Mid: Gabi, Toulalan, Mario, Koke, Diego, Oliver, Saul, cebolla, (+1 fast, skillful winger)

    Def: filipe, Miranda, god in, juanfran, Insua, manquillo, pulido, (+1 cb that’s better than cata)

    This past season we created few chances, but thanks to Falcao and Diego Costa we converted them. Next year I think we can be just as good because with a more attack minded and creative midfeild, we will create more chances, which should result in more goals (just don’t expect such a high goal/chance ratio).

  • EC

    I seem to be in the minority but I think our number one target should be a top class striker. We got around €60 mil for falcao so I will be very annoyed if atletico don’t spend between €20 and €30 mil on a new striker. Anything else will be a bonus e.g Diego, toulalan.

  • kris

    EC, you are right. Arjit, I agree with you on Garcia part. Awful he was this season. I don’t know why you think we won’t need another striker. We will need a really good bench to keep up with other teams in CL and with Barca and Real in Liga. We will be scoring more goals next season and our defense is gonna be strengthened up also. Godin,Miranda, and Juanfran have all learned from their mistakes. Filipe Luis was almost exceptional.

  • EC

    The most importing thing in football is scoring goals and we can’t sell arguably the best striker in the world, not replace him and hope to get away with it. We won’t be able to compete in the champions league or with Barca and Real Madrid if we don’t have a world class forward.

  • kris

    In case you missed or want to relive Oliver’s awesome dribbling here it is: What a fucking beast!!

  • Arjit

    I only feel that way because there were many teams in la liga that scored more goals than us without a world class striker. They did so by playing well and not depending on just one or two players to score majority of their goals. The perfect example this season would be Real Sociedad. I also have a lot of faith in Diego Costa, he’s improved immensely and the fact that we will have more “direct” players. I think turan, diego, koke and oliver will create more chances with new fast-dribbler type players coming in like pizzi and leo baptistao. We didn’t have anybody like that this season, Diego costa is the only one who would create space in the wings and make a dangerous play rather than just put a hopeful cross in. In the ideal situation, it would be great to have another clinical finisher come in to the team, but I don’t think it’s a necessity nor do we have the budget for it. Behind all the success, we’re a debt ridden club.

  • Silchas

    many teams scored more goals than us?
    If you exclude Real und Barca( 103 and 115)
    there were only Valencia( 67) and Sociedad(70) that scored more then us.
    compared to other leagues we are not so bad either
    in france only PSG scored more than us( 69)
    In England Man United( 86),Chelsea(75), Arsenal(72), Liverpool(71) and tottenham and Mancity olny score one goal more than us-
    In italy Juve(71), Napoli(73), Milan (67), Fiorentina( 72) and Roma (71)
    and in Germany only Bayern and Dortmund
    but the important thing ist that most of the teams, which hace scored more goals than us, have conceded far more goals than us and have a lesser amount of points than us.
    But if you guys like the times better with kun and Forlan, where we scored 80 goals and conceded 70 goals, then that ist your opionion.

  • Ty Gambo

    I don’t see how the departure of Falcao means the departures of Miranda, Filipe and Gabi, as well…?

  • Arjit

    Alright, that was my mistake. I exaggerated when I said “many” teams. I still stand behind my point, though. I’m going to state some stats here that are straight off espn. So we scored 65 goals, and here’s why I don’t think that’s a lot considering we have falcao (28 goals):

    Sociedad: 70 goals – Top Scorers: Vela (14), Agirretxe (13), Griezmann (10), Prieto (9). They have a widespread threat and many players score, one guy has an off day? it doesn’t matter, another player can score.

    also, valencia didn’t pay 45 million for any striker in recent memory, yet up until this year they managed to consistently finish higher up in the table than us, there’s a reason behind that.

    7th place betis scored 8 goals less than us over 38 games. This is their second year back in 1st divison.

    9th place sevilla score 7 less goals than us. They haven’t spent a significant amount of money on player in a few years. Luis Fabiano and Kanoute are long gone.

    None of those team possess a player with falcao’s abilities, neither have they spent nearly as much as atletico have in the last 2 seasons. We already have the best defence in la liga, and it’s not going anywhere. These teams managed to score almost as much as us and in some cases outscore us without breaking the bank. If they can do it, why can’t we?

    We already have an ever improving Diego Costa, as well as a hugely promising Leo Baptistao. Leo had the most assists and was the 2nd highest scorer at Rayo, and he missed a quarter of the season (some of it through injury, and also because he didn’t start for Rayo at the beginning of the season). Did I forget to mention he’s only 20?

  • kris

    Arjit, there’s a difference. That is in La Liga only. Need I remind you that we will be playing in UCL and so will Sociedad. But I agree with the point that you are making. We need a better attacking team. We can’t be over-reliant on one player. But, what I am saying is bring in another top-class striker, Diego and create a very well attacking side. Sociedad have done so greatly with Vela and Aggiretxe but they might struggle next season against UCL opponents. What we need is a better bench and a better attacking team. If we play like Sociedad with another top class striker, we will be ready to compete against any team. Don’t you think?

  • Arjit

    I’m all for it if we can bring in another great forward, as long as we don’t over spend. It would be great to bring in a forward for like 10-15 mill and actually keep him for a while. But once again, I believe the attacking system brings more goals than just buying a player with a good scoring record. For example, Porto is always competitive in CL, even though they sell their best players every two to three years.