For the fourth year in a row, Atlético Madrid will feature in the quarter finals of the Champions League after a quiet round of 16 against Bayer Leverkusen that was effectively over after the first leg. Here's a quick presentation of Atlético's strengths, weaknesses and history ahead of their upcoming quarter final against Leicester City. Diego Godín Behind this guy's face and this bald patch, Diego Godin is probably one of the best, yet one of the most underrated centre-backs in the world and...
One Reason They Could Win It...
Because it's their time to shine
While sitting 4th in the league, 5 points away from Sevilla and 10 points away from the leaders Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid have always shown amazing strength and pulled incredibly solid performances this past three years in the Champions League.
Reaching the final twice in three years is fine, winning one is better.
And Atlético didn't really change since their first final in the 2013-2014 season. Same coach, pretty much the same players, same mentality, only with two more years of experience. With Simeone and Griezmann closer than ever to a departure, it's time for Atlético to lift that trophy.
...and One Reason They Might Not
Because they'll lose in the final on a 91st minute header from Sergio Ramos
Two finals in two years, both against Real Madrid, both lost.
Atlético Madrid are probably jinxed, there's no other explanation. Given what has happened in football in recent years, they'll probably play their second final in a row against Real Madrid, draw, and concede a 91st minute header from Sergio Ramos.
The One Stat That Will Make Your Friends Say "Oh, Really?"
Diego Simeone has based his team on a pretty solid defensive unit. With a back four made of Juanfran, Savic, Godin and Luis, with Oblak in goal, they have one of the best back fives in European football.
Proof of that: out of their last 20 UCL games at home, Atlético Madrid managed to keep 17 clean sheets.
Compared to the previous seasons, Atlético Madrid are struggling this year, with already 8 defeats in all competitions, including 5 in La Liga.
As for their last ten games, they've won 6, drew 3 and lost 1 to Barcelona. Decent, but not exceptional.
A Little Bit of History
Most see Atlético as this huge European club, but this year is only their twelfth appearance in the Champions League, and they've only became regulars since 2014. Before that, it's a lot of getting out of the group stage and long periods of not getting in at all.
For example, Atlético didn't make a single appearance in the Champions League between 1997 and 2009, and again between 2010 and 2014. But within these 12 appearances, they usually performed: 9 quarter finals including this year's, 5 semis and 3 finals.
The Key Player
Behind this guy's face and this bald patch, Diego Godin is probably one of the best, yet one of the most underrated centre-backs in the world and the cornerstone of Atlético's defence.
Arriving in Madrid in 2010, he's now Atlético's captain and will be crucial to the Colchoneros progressing through past the quarter finals once again this season.