Atletico Madrid was founded in 1903 and since then has been one of the most successful teams in Spanish history. Atletico has had well over 1,000 matches throughout club history, with some of those matches standing out as the club’s best. Let’s take a deep dive into Atletico Madrid’s history, highlighting the five matches that had the biggest impact on the club, between winning titles and beating top rivals.
Clinching La Liga in 2021
Atletico Madrid had been in a battle with Real Madrid throughout the entire 2020-21 La Liga season for first place. For the first few months of the season, Atletico had lost just one match, and it came at the hands of Real. In their second match, the two clubs tied 1-1, and came into the final matchday within two points of each other. Atletico was ahead of Real by two points and had Valladolid in the final week.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid defeated Villarreal to force the issue, meaning that Atletico had to draw or win. Things looked grim at first as Plano scored for Valladolid in the 18th minute, and Atletico didn’t score in the first half of the match. Finally, Angel Correa evened things up, lifting the club’s hopes. 10 minutes later, Luis Suarez scored to give Atletico a 2-1 lead, essentially clinching the title despite six yellow cards that followed to finish the match for Atletico.
Opening the 1955-56 Season
Though Atletico Madrid didn’t end up winning the 1955-56 La Liga season (finishing 5th), they would start off the season with a tie for the biggest win in club history. Atletico squared off against Hercules FC, and they were able to win 9-0 without scoring in the first half hour. It wasn’t Escudero scored the first of his three goals in the 32nd minute that Atletico got on the board. His two goals and Francisco Molina’s 41st-minute goal gave Atletico a 3-0 lead at the half.
Atletico came out on fire in the second half with Molina netting his second goal in the 47th minute. He then added a third while Miguel scored two himself. Enrique Collar scored his only goal of the game in the 87th minute, giving Atletico the 9-0 lead that they would finish with. If only the rest of the season had gone that well, it would have been an all-time year.
2018 UEFA Super Cup
Football tournaments around the world are all about determining the best of the best in that given year. Perhaps the title that can be considered the “ultimate championship” is the UEFA Super Cup, which takes the winner of the UEFA Champions League and pits them against the winner of the UEFA Europa League.
Atletico had won the UEFA Super Cup twice already by the time 2018 came around, but those wins came against Inter Milan and Chelsea. The 2018 edition saw Atletico square off against their arch-rival Real Madrid. Atletico jumped out to a 1-0 lead thanks to Diego Costa, but Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos put Real ahead 2-1. Costa tied things up in the 79th minute, and Atletico scored twice in extra time to win the Super Cup.
2013 Copa Del Rey
Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have met many times throughout the years outside of La Liga, as evidenced by the 2018 Super Cup. Five years prior, the two met in the finals of another major competition, the Copa del Rey. Leading up to the finals, Atletico Madrid defeated Real Jaen, Getafe, Betis, and Sevilla to take on Real Madrid.
Just like they did in 2018, Real and Atletico needed extra time to determine a tournament winner. This time around, it was Real Madrid who got out to the early lead when Cristiano Ronaldo scored in the 14th minute. They wouldn’t score again, though, as Diego Costa evened the match in the 35th minute. In extra time, Miranda netted the deciding goal, giving Atletico Madrid the 2-1 victory and the Copa del Rey.
1962 Winners’ Cup
Prior to the UEFA Super Cup, the best of the best throughout Europe was determined through the European Cup Winners’ Cup. Atletico Madrid had to play in the preliminary round, defeating Sedan 7-3 on aggregate. The club then defeated Leicester City to advance to the quarterfinals. German teams Werder Bremen and Carl Zeiss Jena were the next victims, with Atletico taking on Fiorentina for the title.
The two teams would play in front of 27,000 people at Hampden Park in Glasgow, but finished with a 1-1 draw after neither team scored in the second half. In the replay, Atletico wasted no time scoring, with Miguel Jones Castillo netting one in the eighth minute. Mendonca and Joaquin Peiro Lucas added goals to make a 3-0 championship win.