Match Preview: Atlético vs. Athletic

Atleti will meet father club for their supposed last game at the iconic Calderón

Club Atletico de Madrid

Here we go.

I’ve known that I would be writing this match pre-view for some months now. I’ve been dreading it in all honesty. How can my humble words sum up sufficiently what the next game will mean to AtléticoFans around the world who have sung, danced, cheered, sweated and – yes this too – cried on the shores of the river?

The sweat, the tears and the singing voices have added an element to the strength of the bricks and mortar that make up the Vicente Calderón and differentiated it from any other stadium in the world.

One of my first clear memories at the Calderón was a game against Villarreal. We went 0-2 down early and my little mind couldn’t quite comprehend why the red and white clad fans not only continued to sing but seemed to have got louder with each goal from the opponents.

Then, a poor backpass to Pepe Reina (yes, that Pepe Reina!) ended in the net. Two very late goals by Don Fernando Torres not only gave Atleti three points, but ensured that that little kid would live and breathe Atleti for the rest of his life.

And now that place, sacred to me, will end.

At 16:45 CET on 21 May 2017, Atlético de Madrid will play their father club Athletic Bilbao in the Vicente Calderón. The clash in Bilbao ended 2-2 with Koke and Griezmann scoring for Atleti. Last weekend both teams drew 1-1.

Whilst Atleti has secured their third place in La Liga confirming Champions League next season; Athletic are battling it out with Villarreal and Real Sociedad to play the Europa League, and will likely be firing on all cylinders.

Defensively Simeone’s headache has turned into a migraine. Giménez, Filipe Luís and Diego Godín are all suspended. Juanfran, Vrsaljko and Augusto remain injured. We will possibly see a defensive four of Lucas, Saúl, Savic and Thomas, which will seek to enable Oblak to win the Zamora trophy for the second year in a row as long as he does not concede six goals.

In all honesty, I am more upset that they are missing out on the historical element of the game than anything else. At least Raúl García will play!

What will the end of the game look like?

The club has been fairly tight lipped about what fans can expect when the final whistle blows on Sunday. Will there be fire works? Live music? Will there be a pitch invasion? All these details we will have to wait and see.

What we may get, is the Ladies XI presenting the Liga Iberdrola trophy to the crowd after winning the league the day before. This would certainly be an excellent way to start the festivities.

After the epic ‘euroderbi’ some fans decided to take their seats with them home to commemorate the historical nature of the game. The club is very keen to prevent this happening after the Athletic game due to commitments to host the Copa del Rey final between Alavés and Barcelona. The decision to host that game in itself has been enormously unpopular amongst Atleti fans.

One anonymous fan, with a season ticket at Atleti since 1999, told AtléticoFans, “I have sat in that same seat for 18 years, and the club thinks that some Barca fan is going to sit in it after me? They have to be mad.”

The club has sought to compromise with fans feeling similarly. A commemorative match will be held after the Copa del Rey final and the club is now giving season ticket holders to get their seats for free after a Guns ‘n’ Roses concert to be held at the Calderon.

Here at AtléticoFans we would like to hear from you about your favourite memories of the Vicente Calderon. Let us know in either the comments below or on Twitter using the hashtag #MemoryOfTheCalderon.


  • Karlp

    The ladies just win the league. Biggest congratulation to them.

  • AaX

    Don’t know what yet to say right now but I am happy that you are back writing Our Calderon’s Final match preview.
    And yes it’s virtually impossible to sum up all the sentiments and feelings the Fans have on this Very Special and Historical Landmark as It means and still will continue to mean so much and so personally different to many of its Patron and even to the Atleti Legends who can attest their special inexplicable magical attachment and identification to this Stadium.
    That is a testament The Estadio Vicente Calderon has as the Symbol for The Club and Its Fans.
    It’s Truely a Mecca for the Fans of one of the if not The Greatest Football Club of The People of The World.

    FORZA Aupa ATLETI !!

  • Nick Lawley

    Really well put.

    Apologies about lack of writing. Work has been pretty intense of late and I find I only have time to tweet rather than sit down and pen an article. FORZA ATLETI.

  • Karlp

    Tiago, please don’t go

  • Karlp

    WHAT THE HELL !!!!!!!!!!

  • Zinni DUDU

    I know now what missed for so long in our midfield. It was this portugise magican who can play balls from everywhere just an amazing player

  • Karlp

    the best thing is Torres just surpassed aguero in Atleti’s goals tally

  • Karlp

    we’re so lucky that Thomas is very loyal to Atleti. Never complains and a very good utility player. He is our Sergi Roberto / Nacho.

  • Karlp

    the best thing is Torres just surpassed aguero in Atleti’s goals tally

  • Karlp

    So nervous if Griezmann is substituted and he gave a long applaus.

  • AaX

    Last 45 minutes of the last match. I can’t believe I was there on the steps of Calderon asking Perea where’s the Club’s Office was about over 10 years ago.

    Tears welling up,
    Never thought for once this day would come.

    Well … HowEver Here’s to A Great and Blessfull Beginning,

    May The Magical and Majestic Spirit of the Estadio Vicente Calderon and the Power and The Purity of Its Manzanares River transcends to Our New, Bright, Brave and Bold The Estadio ‘Wonder’ Metropolitano.

    FORZA ATLETICO DE MADRID !!

  • Karlp

    Carrasco has improved his dribble so much, yet still far from an effective player.

  • Karlp

    Torres didn’t give a typical long-farewell-applause. Whatever his future is, so grateful to have him as Atleti’s legend.

  • Karlp

    Koke is a great CM and should be the heir of Tiago’s position, but he’s not that effective as AM. His passing is very limited while he was running.

  • Zinni DUDU

    Torres should have played the full 90 Min. I cannot get the reason subbing him. I would prefer to rbing in Gaitan and Correa.

  • Karlp

    TIAGOOOO……………… T.T

  • Karlp

    very interested on seeing Tiago’s managerial career. Please don’t bring Mendes’ boys.

  • Karlp

    congrats Oblak, back2back zamora. Hopefully just the 2nd of so so many in the future with Atleti

  • Karlp

    kinda hoping Raul Garcia would just hop on to the field and join this Tiago’s farewell.

  • Karlp

    YESSSS…. the ladies team 😀

  • Karlp

    To achieve 1 successful season is amazing. But to consistently stay in this level year in year out of success is completely on another level. So, for all the things that I’ve criticized about him, Simeone without a doubt the is biggest protagonist in this Atleti’s generation. Simeone came to Atleti 5 years ago is a match made in heaven that no one sees coming (just like Barca+Pep, MU+SAF).

  • Karlp

    the trophy celebration isn’t shown on my stream T.T

  • Karlp

    shout out also to the whole AtleticoFans admin + author. Thank you for making this forum. Please keep going on.

  • Maura

    I found it fitting that the last goals in the Calderon were from both a club legend (Torres) and a young player from the new generation of Rojiblancos (Correa).

    I will also miss Tiago and was thrilled to see him as captain for his last game. All the best to him in his retirement.

    Last but not least, congratulations to Jan Oblak for his 2nd consecutive Zamora Trophy.

  • Karlp

    last one, atleti b just wins 1st leg promotional play-off to segunda b

  • Karlp

    D+1 and yesterday’s game is still very memorable to me.

    Played a good game, Tiago, Torres surpassed Aguero, Raul Garcia, Thomas+Correa looks really solid, the ladies wins the league, all the celebrations.

    I know this game means the least in terms of importance, but I will always cherished it.