Atletico Madrid Rising Up

When most people think of La Liga, they think of two teams: Barcelona and Real Madrid. However, they should add in a third team to that list: Atletico Madrid. The other Madrid team has been quietly earning some respect around the country of Spain for their play lately. They are coming off a 4-2 win on the road against Rayo Vallecano. In that game, Diego Costa scored his 20th goal of the season, which is 2nd in the league. 32-year-old veteran and former Barcelona player David Villa also contributed in the win with his 11th goal of the season. Atletico Madrid has only lost one game this season and it was to Espanyol back in October of 2013. They have beaten Real Madrid once and tied with Barcelona back on January 11th. So as you can see, these guys are top contenders to knock off Barcelona and Real Madrid late in the season. After the win against Rayo, they are now tied for first in the league with Barcelona acquiring 54 points. Most of their wins this year have been blowouts, having a goal differential of 38. Coach Diego Simeone clearly has this time heading in the right direction. Ever since he took control of the club back in 2011, this team has always been a threat to Real Madrid and Barcelona. Last year, Atletico Madrid finished third in the league, their best finish since 1996 when Simeone played for the team himself. Their most recent achievements were winning the Europa League and the UEFA Super Cup in 2012, and then the Copa del Ray in 2013. The team is not filled with many superstars besides Adrian and Filipe Luis, but Simeone is showing everyone that you don’t need a star-studded team to win. The club has enough talent to win the La Liga and to snatch it away from Lionel Messi’s Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid.