The Superlatives can never end when describing Atlético Madrid's season. The team won the league and finished second in the Champions League. But what were the key factors that made it go so well this year?
There were plenty of decisive factors, but there are some things that stand out. Cohesion, courage, will, and faith within themselves have been some of the most important ingredients. The belief in the team has been particularly important since they sold their big star Falcao and got to experiment broadly with the players they had in the squad.
Many of the players stepped up and showed their best side when Falcao left - particularly Diego Costa. A question mark was raised as no one was sure that he could take on the role as the team's goalscorer at full throttle. But the manager Diego Simeone knows where he has his players and in the end everything went well.
Last year they had an incredible season and this year it has only gotten better. More players have started to identify with the club. Among other things, Diego Godin is kissing the club logo now every time he scores a goal.
Godin and Miranda have established themselves as one of Europe's best central defensive partnerships, while Filipe Luís has been running up and down his left side. Juanfran found top form after his dip earlier and Atlético's academy products Gabi and Mario Suarez, together with Tiago, made the central midfield perhaps the side's most potent weapon. Meanwhile Arda Turan and Koke managed the flanks in an outstanding manner and produced plenty of assists for Costa and David Villa.
During Wednesday night, it became official that Atletico has signed the super talent Ángel Correa from San Lorenzo in Argentina.
Atlético have no need to sell any of the players that are essential for the senior team to balance the club's finances. In recent seasons Atletico have worked to create a solid foundation which in turn allows continuity. A large portion of the investments has gone to this particular purpose. It has made a declaration in the form of contract extensions of those considered to be key players with the goal that they feel recognised by the department.
Atletico is a club on the rise, it will be interesting to see how long they plan to stay at the top.
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