Atletico Madrid confidently beat Real Sociedad 3-0 last night. Another three points to stretch the gap with 3rd place Real Madrid and getting closer to La Liga leaders Barcelona.
Diego Simeone’s team look comfortable sitting on the 2nd place between the two giants. Well, it’s not the first time the Argentine manager pushes his team chalenging for La Liga title. He has done it season after season. And he has won it once in 2014.
And being able to become the third racing horse in La Liga, can only mean Atletico are able to compete with football giants in Europe too, by winning the Europa League 2012 and almost beat Real Madrid in Champions League final 2014.
Before Simeone took the helm on December 2011, Atletico were just another average team in La Liga, with five points away from the relegation zone. Today the Rojiblancos are the strongest team in Madrid. “Beating Madrid at the Bernabeu has become natural for us,” Simeone said recently. And his team have done it three years in a row now.
Cholo’s team have never look to win ball possession like Barca. But they always look to win the game, whoever the opponents are and wherever they’re playing at. He told his players to ‘do whatever it takes’ to win the game. It means, he wants his team to play rough when necessary. It’s okay to get yellow cards or red, as long as you show ambition to win. Ouch…
“Players should enter the pitch with a knife between their teeth,” Simeone said a few months ago. Was he joking? Does he think he’s a kind of pirate boss or something?
“They are animal,” said Qique Sanchez Flores about Simeone’s players.
Atletico players love to tackle and love to attack. When they don’t have the ball, they will give pressure and close down areas. Their forwards are the first line of defence. Disciplines are required of course. Simeone’s nasty assistant German Burgos is the man responsible for the players discipline. While the manager himself remain close to his players. Perfect scenario, don’t you think?
Players are coming and going. Yet, the ship is still sailing. They are the Pirates of Iberian. Bring us that horizon. Yo ho ho….