Club Atletico de Madrid, popularly known as just Atletico Madrid or Atletico, is a Spanish football club based in Madrid. The team currently operates in the top tier of Spanish football, the La Liga.
The side were founded on April 26, 1903 as Athletic Club de Madrid. The majority owner at the club with 52% of its ownership is Miguel Angel Gil Marin. The team are currently coached by former player and former Argentina international Diego Simeone.
Atletico play their home matches at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid that has a capacity of just under 55,000 spectators. They are due to move into their new stadium, the Wanda Metropolitano, which will have a capacity of 73,729 spectators.
The club were initially founded by three Basque students who were living in Madrid as a youth branch for Athletic Bilbao. Indeed, the two teams wore the same colours for a while before their home shirts changed to their present forms.
Athletic Club de Madrid became an independent entity in 1921 and they moved into a new home – the Estadio Metropolitano de Madrid. The club used the stadium up until 1966 when they moved into their current home stadium. Atletico Madrid were invited to join the top tier of Spanish football in 1928, the year which also saw the inception of the La Liga.
Between 1939 and 1947, the club had merged with Aviacion Nacional and was known as Athletic Aviacion de Madrid. The two clubs had merged in a compromise deal as Aviacion were not granted permission to enter the La Liga while Atletico had lost eight first team players to the Spanish Civil War. Their first La Liga title arrived in 1941 under manager Ricardo Zamora.
The club ended their association with Nacional and settled on their present name in the year 1947. That same year, they beat Real Madrid 5-0 at home in what has been their biggest win over their closest rivals in their history.
They beat off competition to win La Liga in 1950 as well as 1951 but following the end of Helenio Herrera’s tenure as manager, they regressed. Although results picked up during the decade and they finished second and third a number of times in the league, Atletico did not win the La Liga up until 1966. They did so in 1970, 73 and 77 as well.
After a period of irrelevance during the 90s and the early 2000s, Atletico Madrid started to become a force once again during the 2009-10 season. Under the guidance of Qique Sanchez Flores, the club won the Europa League competition by beating Fulham in the final that season. The following season, they also won the UEFA Super Cup by defeating Champions League holders Inter Milan.
Current manager Simeone was appointed in December 2011 and the Argentine would lead the club to their second Europa League trophy in three years in May 2012. They would win the UEFA Super Cup once more, this time by defeating Chelsea by an emphatic 4-1 in the final at Monaco.
During the 2012-13 season, Atleti beat Real Madrid in the Copa Del Rey final before securing the La Liga title the following year. The deciding fixture was played at the Camp Nou in FC Barcelona where Atletico held Barca to a 1-1 draw in order to claim their first league title since 1996. They have also reached the Champions League final a couple of times during Simeone’s reign but have been beaten on both occasions.
Off late, the club have been able to have some of the best strikers in the world on their payroll. While Fernando Torres was a home-grown player who prospered for Atletico, they had acquired the services of Sergio Aguero, Diego Forlan, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Antoine Griezmann to name a few in the past decade.
The club’s major achievements include:
- 9 La Liga
- 9 Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup)
- 1 European Cup Winners’ Cup
- 1 Intercontinental Cup