If Atlético are to win a European trophy this season, they again have to defeat a team managed by Jose Mourinho, this time in the form of English Premier League side Chelsea. The UEFA Champions League semi-final draw was made today in Nyon, and means that an all-Madrid final is still on the cards in Lisbon, after our arch rivals Real were drawn against defending champions Bayern Munich.
Four times this season, current La Liga leaders Atlético Madrid have taken on reigning champions and title chasers Barcelona, and four times, nothing has separated them. The Rojiblancos’ backline has cancelled out the Catalan’s attacking talent on each occasion they have met so far, although in Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final second leg, something has to give. Kick-off in the Spanish capital is set for 20:45 CET.
For years, Atlético watched on as Real Madrid and Barcelona battled for the top positions in Spain and Europe. This season however, things have changed. They’re the top two in La Liga with a last day showdown still to come next month, contested the Super Cup back in August, and now los Rojiblancos and los Blaugrana are preparing to face each other in a Champions League clash that could go a long way towards deciding who comes out on top between the two this year.
Earlier, while browsing through the pictures on the Atlético website – a standard routine – my attention was caught by one particular photo that was uploaded from the training session on Monday. As some of you may know, I am, supposedly, the biggest Mario Suárez supporter outside of Spain. You likely suspect that it was a flattering photo of him, but no, it was not.
In a radio interview this past Friday, Diego Pablo Simeone suggested Atlético need to qualify for Champions League play year-in-year-out as the only viable way to secure the club’s economic growth. In fact, the Argentine tactician made it clear it is a matter of sheer survival. Can anybody recall another Rojiblanco coach placing club economics ahead of
Our captain Antonio López has been talking to the press today and confirmed that Atlético are now back in training and are focused on preparing for the UEFA Super Cup against Inter. Speaking after a sponsorship extension was agreed between the club and Finnish gambling company Paf, López told journalists in the VIP room at