Gone are the days that La Liga was a two-horse race between Barcelona and Real Madrid.
That’s because Atletico Madrid appear to be able to more than hold their own against the two Spanish giants with them siting atop of the league at this early stage of the season.
Atleti are attempting to go better than last campaign when they finished third - three points off champions Barcelona and two points adrift of city rivals Real Madrid.
While they didn’t threaten the top two during the 2014/15 season, they managed to win the title in the previous year, finishing three points ahead of both Barcelona and Madrid.
Therefore, there’s certainly no doubt that there are now three clubs capable of winning La Liga.
In fact, the tide has turned so much in Madrid that Atleti are now considered more of a threat to Barcelona than Real. That’s not our opinion, that’s according to Barca striker Paco Alcacer.
The new forward compared the two city rivals and believes playing against Diego Simeone’s side is tougher than coming up against Zinedine Zidane’s team.
“[Atletico] are doing better and are more difficult to beat due to their style of play. It's clear that Simeone's style is tough, always looking for the win,” he said, per Sport.
Both Madrid clubs have identical records following their first seven league matches this season - although the fact that Atleti have only conceded twice puts them top of the table on goal difference.
For Alcacer and Barcelona, it has been a slightly tougher start with Luis Enrique’s side losing twice in the league already.
The 23-year-old, who arrived from Valencia this summer in a €30 million move, is still searching for his first goal and he admits that there is pressure on his shoulders to score.
"Everyone's keen for the first to fall, even more so when you've changed clubs," he said, before confessing he's "a little weighed down" given that "all forwards want to score goals, but I've always said it's more important to stay calm."