Atlético Madrid's all-time derby XI: Simeone, Aragonés, Falcao...
Diario AS's resident Colchonero Manolete runs the rule over an historic XI of Atlético greats ahead of the Metropolitano showdown this weekend.
Jan Oblak. Without doubt the best Rojiblanco keeper I have seen in 60 years and who stands out by making impossible saves practically every week and who has worked to correct his weak spots and is a solid penalty stopper.
Francisco Delgado Melo. One of the foundation stones of the legendary team created under Marcel Domingo and who led from the back as that squad reached the European Cup final for the first time against Bayern Munich in 1973-74 and also won the Intercontinental Cup the same year against Independiente.
Luis Pereira. A pure joy to watch, Pereira was a genius who taught the Calderón crowd to appreciate the virtues of the entertaining style of Brazilian players and who also won a Liga title. His attacking prowess remains an unforgettable memory.
Diego Godín. The secret key to the development of Cholismo, Godín oozes defensive security above all and presents a threat at the other end with his aerial ability. An example for all of his teammates to aspire to.
Isacio Calleja. A legend in the history of Atlético and Spanish football who was part of the team that won the European Cup in 1964 by defeating Russia in the final in the Bernabéu. He was a specialist at joining the attack from deep.
Adelardo. The enduring captain and the lungs of the side who always managed to pop up at the opportune moment and who marked a before and after in the history of the club. He remains the player with the most appearances of all time for Atlético Madrid.
Luis Aragonés. Not only did he stand out on the pitch, where he displayed the attributes of what today is referred to as a goal-scoring attacking midfielder, he also transferred his knowledge of the game to the Atlético bench, leading the club to glory and making the team play to their greatest ability in the crunch moments. He also laid the groundwork for Spain’s period of international domination. Not for nothing was he known as “the wise man of Hortaleza.”
Diego Simeone. El Cholo had an immediate impact when he arrived at Atlético as a player as he demonstrated his role as a leader. A fundamental piece of the double-winning side of 1995-96 under Radomir Antic and a motivator in the dressing room. As the current coach of the side he has led the club back into Europe’s elite and laid out a model of playing that has become a new philosophy in football, taking on and beating the biggest clubs in the world.
José Ufarte. The Spanish Garrincha. The player who displayed the magic to open up defences and make the pitch larger while also delivering those wonderful crosses that made Aragonés and Gárate unstoppable in the air as they arrived in the box to meet them.
José Eulogio Gárate. A magician and the most elegant player to represent the club. Gárate had such movement that defenders could never get the better of him positionally. A player who belongs in the pantheon of the chosen few and who, under Marcel Domingo, gifted the Calderón so many unforgettable games.
Radamel Falcao. Although Atlético have had many excellent forwards, the fact is that he was the best goal scorer, a player that broke records and who possessed a mastery of the ball that meant that every one that reached him would end up in the back of the net.
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