AtléticoFans.com turns three years old this week, and as a birthday celebration, we’re bringing you a series of articles remembering 3 great goals, games and moments that we’ve had the joy of covering over the last 36 months.
You’ve already seen the three of the best Atlético Madrid goals from the last three years, now it’s time for the most memorable pictures we’ve come across the past few seasons!
What better way to summarize it all than a photo of Neptuno with a smile on his face and an Atleti scarf around his neck?
All the fans, players, and staff have seen their hard work and efforts rewarded with five trips to the Madrid fountain, where Antonio López and Gabi climbed the shoulders of the Roman god to tie the red and white colours around his neck.
After winning two Europa League titles, two UEFA Super Cups and the Copa del Rey, we hope it won’t be too long before we pay another visit to Neptuno, who’s had considerably more visits than his sister Cibeles in recent years.
Speaking of our captains, Atleti has developed a nasty habit of selling their skippers. Being appointed team leader at the Manzanares is akin to receiving a kiss of death from an Italian crimelord: it usually indicates your days are numbered.
At a club where everyone and everything appears to be on sale, we’ve seen the reigns of captains and vice captains like López, Maxi Rodríguez, Simão, Forlán, Agüero, Luis Perea and Radamel Falcao come to a (premature) end.
This has led to some emotional farewells, as we all remember Maxi, Antonio López, Simão and El Tigre tearing up. It’s a testament to their love for the club and all we can do is thank them, knowing that, usually, Atleti bounces back even stronger after saying goodbye to their most important players.
By now you might have noticed that “success” and “captains” are two recurring themes here. The final picture is of a future captain who was photographed making a mockery of a rival.
And no, I’m not talking about Tiago bitch-slapping Soldado, which in its own right finally ended claims by Valencia fans saying their club is Spain’s third biggest, as Atleti again knocked out Los Che on their way to a second Europa Leaue title in roughly as many years.
Who I am referring to is youth product Jorge Resurección, better known as “Koke”, who was bleeding red and white even before joining Atlético’s cantera at age nine. He further improved his popularity among Rojiblanco fans after the Copa del Rey win over eternal rivals Real Madrid.
When all other players made their way back to the dressing room after celebrating their cup win with fans and family, Koke stayed on the pitch and made his way to the centre of the lion’s den proudly holding an Atlético bandera, before placing it on the center spot.
The young midfielder then knelt down to kiss the emblem of a club that had been so desperately waiting for a victory over their rivals. Koke’s gesture embodied the roller coaster of emotions experienced over a fourteen-year -long struggle to finally conquer Real Madrid, placing them in our shadow for once.
These are three of my favourite pictures of the past three years, but I could have easily picked others from a long list of memorable moments. Let us know in the comments what you remember most fondly from the last three years!