European round-up: Record-breaking season still on for ruthless Atletico

European round-up
(Image credit: PA)

In 2001, Atletico Madrid equalled a club record – of the wrong kind. In their first season in Spain’s second tier since the 1930s, Los Colchoneros finished fourth to equal their lowest ever league position. Only five years earlier, they’d won the double, but off-field turmoil plunged the club into darkness around the turn of the century.

Fast-forward almost 20 years and Atletico are enjoying consistency the like of which they’ve never known, finishing third or higher in eight straight La Liga campaigns. In his tenth full season in charge, Diego Simeone has his side on course to reach 99 points – one shy of the La Liga record shared by Barcelona and mutual Madrid enemies Real. Needless to say, their so-far brilliant 2020/21 has been built on the extremely hard-working, robotically executed defensive approach that has come to define the functional and feisty Argentine’s reign in the Spanish capital.

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Tom Hancock

Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for the Premier League and Opta Analyst, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...