30 Facts About Atletico Madrid


Club Atletico de Madrid, S AD, known simply as Atleti in the Spanish-speaking world and commonly referred to at international level as Atletico Madrid, is a Spanish professional football club based in Madrid that plays in La Liga.

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In terms of league titles won, Atletico Madrid are the third most successful club in Spanish football—behind Real Madrid and Barcelona.

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The side began playing in blue and white halved shirts, the then colours of Athletic Bilbao, but by 1911, both the Bilbao and Atletico Madrid teams were playing in their current colours of red and white stripes.

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However, another explanation is that both Athletic Bilbao and Athletic Atletico Madrid used to buy Blackburn Rovers' blue and white kits in England.

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In late 1909, Juanito Elorduy, a former player and member of the board of Athletic Atletico Madrid, went to England to buy kits for both teams but failed to find Blackburn kits to purchase; he instead bought the red and white shirts of Southampton FC.

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Athletic Atletico Madrid adopted the red and white shirt, leading to them being known as Los Rojiblancos, but opted to keep their existing blue shorts whereas the Bilbao team switched to new black shorts.

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In 1921, Athletic Atletico Madrid became independent of parent-club Athletic Bilbao and moved into a 35,800-seater stadium built by the company, the Estadio Metropolitano de Atletico Madrid.

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However, during the 1960s and 1970s, Atletico Madrid seriously challenged Barcelona for the position of second team.

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Atletico Madrid gained their revenge when, led by former Real coach Jose Villalonga, they defeated Real in two successive Copa del Rey finals in 1960 and 1961.

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Between 1961 and 1980, Real Atletico Madrid dominated La Liga, winning the competition 14 times.

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In 1965, when they finished as La Liga runners-up to Real after an intense battle for the title, Atletico Madrid became the first team to beat Real at the Bernabeu in eight years.

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Atletico left the Estadio Metropolitano de Madrid and moved to a new home in the Manzanares river waterfront, the Vicente Calderon Stadium, which was inaugurated on 2 October 1966 with a fixture against Valencia.

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Shortly after the defeat in the 1974 European Cup Final, Atletico Madrid appointed their veteran player Luis Aragones as coach.

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Atletico Madrid received considerable help from Hugo Sanchez, who scored 19 league goals and won the Pichichi.

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Atletico Madrid had not won La Liga for 10 years and were desperate for league success.

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The move came as part of the overall Gil-initiated business restructuring of the club; Atletico Madrid became a Sociedad Anonima Deportiva, a corporate structure benefiting from a then-recently introduced special legal status under Spanish corporate law, allowing individuals to purchase and trade club shares.

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Atletico Madrid coached the team during the next season, and gave Fernando Torres his La Liga debut.

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In 2006, Atletico Madrid signed Portuguese midfielders Costinha and Maniche, as well as Argentine forward Sergio Aguero.

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In July 2007, the Atletico board reached an agreement with the City of Madrid to sell the land where their stadium was located and move the club to the City-owned Olympic Stadium.

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Atletico Madrid had applied to host the 2016 Olympic Games, losing out to Rio de Janeiro.

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Atletico Madrid later claimed that this was not accurate, and that he had left by mutual termination rather than through sacking.

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Atletico Madrid's success continued in the latter half of the season when they placed fourth in the league table, securing a position in the playoff round of the UEFA Champions League.

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Atletico Madrid saw this domestic success as an opportunity to reinforce their squad for the upcoming Champions League season.

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Atletico Madrid purchased Real Betis defender and Spanish international Juanito on a free transfer.

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Atletico Madrid went on to win the Europa League, beating English teams Liverpool in the semi-finals and eventually Fulham in the final held at HSH Nordbank Arena in Hamburg on 12 May 2010.

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One week later, Atletico faced city rivals Real Madrid in their first Champions League final since 1974, and the first played between two sides from the same city.

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Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid are clubs with contrasting identities and different fates.

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Atletico Madrid began playing in blue and white, mirroring then-parent club Athletic Bilbao, but both changed to red-and-white stripes by 1911 which became their traditional colours.

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Atletico Madrid admitted its sponsorship deal had a political dimension, saying the intention was to "promote the image of Azerbaijan".

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Atletico Madrid is supported by King Felipe VI, who became Honorary President of the club in 2003.

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