From risking survival to fighting to be champion

Atlético faced eleven finals last season to get into the Champions League. The economic survival of the entity was at stake. Now he wants to win LaLiga.


From risking his life to fighting for the dream of being a league champion. It is the situation of Atlético so far from last season to the current one. The pandemic paralyzed our country a year ago, also football, and the rojiblanco club lived a few weeks of uncertainty, almost dramatic, until sporting activity was restarted. Atlético then faced eleven finals for their economic survival, since they were out of the Champions League positions. Now he has ten finals ahead of him in which the league title is played. Similar situation regarding the remaining matches, different pressure.

Atlético played their last game on March 7 against Sevilla (2-2). Simeone's team returned to play on June 14 against Athletic (1-1) on matchday 28. The club was out of the Champions League, with all that that entails. Getafe, Real Sociedad and Sevilla seriously threatened the Champions League spots. The pandemic has forced Atlético to considerably reduce its budget, from exceeding 400 million to the current 325. Not qualifying among the top four and not having played this edition of the Champions League would have been fatal for the club. Leaders, coaching staff and staff understood the situation. In six weeks they faced eleven games and the results were very good: seven won and four tied (Athletic, Barcelona, Celta and Real Sociedad). Twenty goals for and six against. Those of Cholo threw the rest and finished LaLiga in third position, with the objective accomplished. A very difficult moment had been saved.

Those parties can now serve as a mirror. Seven weeks of league competition and ten finals remain. The challenge now is something else. The club is assured of its participation in the next Champions League and the dream is to win the title. The squad has already done the duties requested by the leaders. Atlético has to finish, by budget, among the top three in the championship. Now we have to finish the job and fight until the end for LaLiga. Sevilla, Betis, Huesca, Athletic, Eibar, Elche, Barcelona, Real Sociedad, Osasuna and Valladolid are the rivals.

Match by match, Atlético will defend its current position, leader, with four points ahead of Barcelona and six points over Real Madrid. Those who want to see the current situation in a positive way have reasons for this: they all would have signed to be like this at this stage of the tournament, leader, depending on himself and with his main players in shape: Oblak, Marcos Llorente, Koke, Lemar, Luis Suárez ... Atlético also knows how to play under pressure. The one from now seems like child's play with the one from then. The club would have had to part with one of its main players had it not been among the top four.

The rivals also have reason to hope: the distance has been narrowing and the team is showing signs of fatigue. We will see. There is a coincidence that the break has been good for Atlético. These days, if you look back and see what happened a year ago, you will feel strong and motivated for what's to come.

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