As most Atletico fans will be aware, the club has been drawn to play Norwegian outfit Strømsgodset in the third qualifying round of the Europa League.
The Norwegian Cup champions aren’t the most well known club in Europe but definitely deserve respect.
Strømsgodset have had a rough time in Europe when they’ve managed to qualify for continental competition. The game against Atletico will be their first in a UEFA tournament since 1998/99 when they made the first round of the UEFA Cup.
Despite putting up a spirited fight away from home against Aston Villa, losing 3-2, a 3-0 defeat at home ended Strømsgodset’s hopes of progressing.
Perhaps the ‘Godset’s’ most infamous game in Europe was an 11-0 thrashing handed out by a Liverpool side on top of their game back in the 1974/75 season. Since then, Strømsgodset have won just one out of their following six European games.
In Norway last season, Strømsgodset finished seventh in the Tippeligaen, a competition made up of 16 sides. The 2011 edition is already 15 games old and Atleti’s opponents are on track for another crack at Europe, sitting in third place, the last European qualification spot.
Strømsgodset have only ever won one Tippeligaen, back in 1970. The side which plays at the 7,500 capacity, artificial turf Marienlyst Stadion, has had more success in the Norwegian cup competition, winning it five times.
Alexander Aas, a defender, captains the side. Aas, who joined Strømsgodset from Danish team Odense in 2007, has been capped eight times by the Norwegian national team.
Other players to look for are Jo Inge Berget, a striker who is currently on loan from Italian club Udinese and 25-year-old midfielder Frederik Nordkvelle, the string-puller in the midfield.
Atletico can’t be complacent in this tie, as Strømsgodset have the potential to cause an upset. Realistically though, los Rojiblancos should be too strong and will look to comfortably secure a spot into the next qualifying stage.