F. J. Díaz

Atleti: from a selling club to a threat to the big guns

Holding on to players

Years ago Atlético Madrid fans would always look upon the summer with trepidation over the potential exit of some of their biggest stars: Agüero, De Gea... Los Rojiblancos could never hold back the advances of the Premier League. However, they have risen out of this sticky, compromised situation to become a threat to Europe’s elite, who now view the Madrid club with greater sporting and financial clout. Chelsea know that Atleti now have the muscle to take back Diego Costa and the London club are keen to protect their asset.

Role reversal

Atlético have gained respect on and off the pitch, although I still feel they are one step away from competing with the continent’s powerhouses. That’s not to take anything away from what they’ve achieved. Madrid, Barcelona, PSG, Bayern, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester City all have their eyes on Atlético players and have made enquiries, but ultimately come up against Cerezo and Gil Marín, who are unwilling to let their star players leave. This situation also comes at a price – the players in question must have better contracts, and part of the Champions League revenue is spent on players’ wages.