womenforfootball.com- What an exciting set of Champions League games we witnessed this past week. Atletico Madrid managed to eliminate Champions League favourites, Barcelona out of Quarter Finals and they advanced to Semifinals for the first time in 40 years. And as the Semifinal Draw took place today, Atletico Madrid will face Chelsea and Real Madrid will face Bayern Munich in the Semifinals.
Here is my take on Atletico Madrid’s dynasty this season that was published on SWOL:
One thing was shared among chit chats of football fans in pubs and cafes of Barcelona and Madrid last night: They all whisper about “Atletico Madrid and Simeone”.
Barcelona and Real Madrid, both comfortable with tossing La Liga Championship towards each other every season for over ten years in a row, are now threatened by Atletico Madrid, ‘the poor men’s club in outskirt of Madrid’ as they are known in Spain. Atletico Madrid, under 43-years old Diego Simeone are leading the La Liga table, aiming to end the Spanish top flight’s trophy monopoly by Barcelona and Real Madrid.
The story got even more dramatic last night as Atletico Madrid, surrounded by thousands of home fans, managed to knock Barcelona, out of UEFA Champions League’s Quarterfinals. Barcelona team, with Messi and Neymar among its superstars, as evident throughout the season, had absolutely no sign of Tiki-taka, dominance and scoring touch they used to have under Guardiola. Atletico Madrid, on the other hand, even in the absence of their top scorer Diego Costa, were flawless on the pitch. The 2-1 aggregate scoreline and Barcelona’s elimination is specially hard to swallow for Barcelona fans, since they had appeared in all Champions League Semifinals since 2007-2008.
If Diego Simeone’s men manage to win the Champions League trophy this year, Simeone’s record would match Jose Mourinho’s historic Champions League trophy win with an out of favour team, Porto, back in 2003-2004. Even until this point, he has made history already at Atletico Madrid by taking the team to Semifinals of Champions League for the first time in 40 years.
For now through the focus returns to domestic league trophy: Diego Simeone’s team are eager to put an end to ten years of a back to back La Liga Championship monopoly by Barcelona and Real Madrid.