Everyone’s Second Team: Why Atletico Madrid Deserve Our Support

By Caleb Cousens

This year we have been lucky enough to witness a season of special moments thanks to the exploits of Atletico Madrid and Liverpool FC. Neither team were taken seriously at the start of the season, yet both have rocketed to the top of their respective domestic leagues playing their own unique brands of football. I will let someone else wax eloquent about Brendan Rogers and the Anfield faithful, for now let’s head to the Estadio Vicente Calderon.

This is the year of the underdog, and as such, it’s not a bad time to get behind Diego Simeone’s swashbuckling side that has been kicking ass and taking names. Atleti have shattered the illusion of La Liga’s duopoly, beginning with a Copa del Rey at the end of last season that set the tone for what would come. It was the first time that the lesser known Madrid side had beaten the big white machine in 25 matches spanning 14 years. They started this season as they finished, by beating Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu, and have proceeded to remain undefeated against Real Madrid and FC Barcelona in La Liga this entire year.

In the Champions League their success seems even less likely. Atletico Madrid have one of the smallest squads in Europe, but have managed to thrive both domestically and in Europe, beating the crème of the crop from Russia, Portugal, Italy and Spain on their way to the Semi-Finals.

That said, why should you support Atletico Madrid?

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The Walls of Portugal x MrDheo’s Street Art

With the World Cup approaching, renowned Porto-based artist MrDheo already has one eye on the tournament. With a history of adding vibrant colours and portraits of club and country footballing heroes to otherwise bleak streets, MrDheo has recently captured Cristiano Ronaldo in the form of goal-sized mural. He has also created a work for Falcao and even presented a piece on pitch at an FC Porto match.

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PUMA Football presents their manifesto: The Nature of Believing

"It’s in our nature to hope, dream, believe."

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The return to the World Cup for a different Colombia

Words and Photos by Peter Karl, in Bogotá

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We love Falcao, but we also love Atlético Madrid

By Jake Allingan

Prized, lethal and ruthless are three adjectives which spring to mind when asked to describe Falcao. Is he world-class? Absolutely, definitely, positively, ridiculously. Take a look at this stat for this season: he scores with roughly every third shot. Falcao provides so much for Atletico Madrid that Gerard Pique recently described the side as ‘Falcao’s team.’

However, whilst the strength which the Colombian provides his side with cannot be undervalued, it would be unfair - and arguably stupid - to flippantly disregard the talent which resides within the bowels of the Vicente Calderon stadium as nothing more than servants hurrying to meet their striker’s needs.

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Transfer Deadline Day, according to Falcao*

As clubs around Europe neurotically began a 24 hour spurt of panic-buying, Falcao led Atlético Madrid to a 4-1 rout against Chelsea and could only shake his head and laugh at the millions of pounds and euros being thrown around. He also laughed at David Luiz, because David Luiz is hilarious and spent the night doing Macaulay Culkin impressions instead of defending. Then he laughed at Branislav Ivanovic, because despite Branislav’s admirable career he would likely never spend a night with a Colombian woman. Finally, his eyes met Roman Abramovich’s after El Tigre completed his hat-trick in the European Super Cup, piercing any remnants of the oil oligarch’s soul. Roman grew unsettled in his luxury box in Monaco.

It might not be the way to move to a team that actually plays in the Champions League, but it is how to earn a VIP invitation on to the ritziest yacht owned by a Russian on the Mediterranean. Of course, Falcao disappoints Neymar (and Neymar’s yacht dreams), and he declines Roman’s invitation in the form of a silent, blink-less two-minute stare, only to be followed by a bite directly through a medal made of metal.

Don’t let anyone persuade you to think otherwise, casually scoring hat-tricks against the European Champions and smashing the hopes and dreams of oligarchs is the only way to live on transfer deadline day. [*presumably. Imagined by EB. GIFs via Josh.]

Sell Kun, buy Falcao, and win another Europa League!
Atletico Madrid 3- 0 Athletic Bilbao  - A final astutely dominated by the more clinical side. Diego was the maestro, powered by creativity and inspiration, while Radamel Falcao displayed yet another performance we have come to expect from him. Once again, the Colombian justified his €40m price tag and manifested the fact that Kun Aguero is not missed in Madrid.
'Los Colchorenos' did it again! Two years ago they conquered the Europa League in Hamburg where Forlan and Kun Aguero were the stars. Two seasons later in Bucharest, under Diego Simeone’s completely renovated team, Atletico Madrid beat one of the most exciting teams out there, Bielsa’s flamboyant Athletic Bilbao, who admirably never gave up. On this occasion, two former FC Porto players, Falcao and Diego, made the difference.
In February, Pep Guardiola described Falcao as a “sensational player” and added “he’s the best striker inside the box”. Tonight that was clearly evident as the Colombian scored two sensational strikes. Since joining the club last August for a record fee, the monumental task was to replace both Kun Aguero and Diego Forlan; a deadly striking force. Falcao responded magnificently to both the pressure and challenge netting 35 strikes from 47 appearances.
The 26 year old certainly loves the Europa League, which has now been dubbed the ‘Falcao League’ in Madrid. His 12 competition goals and a man of the match performance in the final (again) were decisive to claim his crown once more.
I think Guardiola is right, Falcao is incredible inside the box, and he still has dozens of goals to deliver, regardless of where he will be next year. ¡Felicitaciones Atleti!  [posted by DV]

Sell Kun, buy Falcao, and win another Europa League!

Atletico Madrid 3- 0 Athletic Bilbao  - A final astutely dominated by the more clinical side. Diego was the maestro, powered by creativity and inspiration, while Radamel Falcao displayed yet another performance we have come to expect from him. Once again, the Colombian justified his €40m price tag and manifested the fact that Kun Aguero is not missed in Madrid.

'Los Colchorenos' did it again! Two years ago they conquered the Europa League in Hamburg where Forlan and Kun Aguero were the stars. Two seasons later in Bucharest, under Diego Simeone’s completely renovated team, Atletico Madrid beat one of the most exciting teams out there, Bielsa’s flamboyant Athletic Bilbao, who admirably never gave up. On this occasion, two former FC Porto players, Falcao and Diego, made the difference.

In February, Pep Guardiola described Falcao as a “sensational player” and added “he’s the best striker inside the box”. Tonight that was clearly evident as the Colombian scored two sensational strikes. Since joining the club last August for a record fee, the monumental task was to replace both Kun Aguero and Diego Forlan; a deadly striking force. Falcao responded magnificently to both the pressure and challenge netting 35 strikes from 47 appearances.

The 26 year old certainly loves the Europa League, which has now been dubbed the ‘Falcao League’ in Madrid. His 12 competition goals and a man of the match performance in the final (again) were decisive to claim his crown once more.

I think Guardiola is right, Falcao is incredible inside the box, and he still has dozens of goals to deliver, regardless of where he will be next year. ¡Felicitaciones Atleti!  [posted by DV]

3 players who could make the difference at the Emirates

By Dominic Vieira, writing from Lancaster, England

Arsenal are a club which must be lifting titles, not losing finals or constantly finishing 3rd or 4th in the table. They’re a young team which generally play the most appealing football in the country, but every year it’s the same concern: where are the trophies? Arsene Wenger’s side has all the capabilities to succeed, there’s a culmination of hunger, youth and quality present. However, they lack they winning mentality when compared to the likes of Chelsea or Man Utd and the inclusion of a three world class signings could be the solution. 

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