Ron Atkinson, or 'Big Ron' as he was affectionately known during his management days, believes that Diego Simeone's side deserve to win the La Liga title ahead of this weekend's Spanish finale, which sees reigning champions Barcelona entertain league-leaders Atletico in a winner-takes-all fixture at the Nou Camp.
"Personally, I'd love to see Atletico Madrid get the result they need to win it. They've been the frontrunners virtually all season, so I think they deserve to win it," explained Atkinson, who celebrated his 75th birthday earlier this year.
The former Manchester United, Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa manager, who also had a brief three-month spell as boss of Atletico, alluded to the outstanding job that former player and Argentine boss Simeone has done, as he guides his side into their third European final in six years, against arch-rivals Real in the Champions League final on May 24.
"He's done a very well. We talk about the ifs and buts of the Premier League but what's happened in La Liga now. For a long time Atletico looked like they were certainties [to take the title] then Real Madrid had a great opportunity in the last three results since they qualified for the Champions League final, they haven't gone well.
"Now all of a sudden Barcelona, who most people had written off, have put themselves in a position in which if they win the last game they will be champions."
Atletico travel to Barcelona on the final day knowing that anything other than a home win will secure Simeone's men their first La Liga title since 1996, as Barcelona look to keep hold of their title that they won by 15-points in the 2012-13 campaign.
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