only the Manchester CityHe real MadridHe BarcelonaHe paris saint germainHe Bayern Monaco and the Juventus they played the Champions League in each of the past ten seasons, aside from the Atletico Madrid From Diego Simonqualified last Sunday for the 11th consecutive year at the tournament, so far before his arrival, so routine now and source of income for 650 million euros in the last decadeafter a tournament in which he was labeled ‘cycle complete’ and was able to convert back.
From 2013-14 to 2023-24, the Argentine coach and his team have not missed any appointment with the Champions League, infallible in that goal in each of his eleven entire championships in charge of the rojiblanca team. “Make them wear the black suit for a while (which he wears in Atlético matches on the bench) for eight months and then they’ll understand it’s not that easy”said Simeone, after sealing his pass in a 3-0 win over Osasuna, with a goal from Angelo Correa included, one of the three Argentine world champions that make up the team, along with Rodrigo De Paul AND Nahuel Molina.
Only those six teams (five have already qualified for next year’s tournament, but not Juventus, which this Monday was penalized with a 10-point reduction for financial irregularities) have reached it. Not one more. None of the more than 60 sets who have since appeared at least once in the Champions League. Not even Liverpool. Nor him Manchester Utd. Nor him Chelsea. Nor him Arsenal. Nor him Tottenham. Nor him Internow finalist, nor the Milanneither Naples, nor the Rome. Nor him Borussia Dortmund. Not the port.
Atlético did, without having dropped off the LaLiga podium in any of those ten previous seasons (the eleventh season has yet to define its position, seven points above Real Sociedad in fourth, and two ahead of Real Madrid in third). In 2013-14 and 2020-21 he went to the Champions League as champion, in 2017-18 and 2018-19 as runner-up and in 2012-13, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2019-20 and 2021 – 22 as third. No one has been ahead that far in this competition except Real Madrid and Barcelona… and not always.
When he moved to the substitute bench in January 2012, Miguel Angel Gil Marinthe club’s chief executive officer and largest shareholder, Simeone asked “four or five ‘Champions’ in a row to be able to balance and grow as a club”. they are eleven. The number that the coach signed at the final whistle against Osasuna. Now he wants to be second, his current position. you’re gone Spanish, Royal society AND villareal on the horizon.
Impressive economic growth
The impact of the Champions League is crucial for Atlético. Its current size or its squad (in 2021-22 it spent 212.940 million euros on the concept of ‘sports team’) without counting signings (this course, between the Argentine world champion Nahuel Molina and the purchase of Antoni Griezmann invested 40 million eurosfor example) are directly linked to his constant presence in the Champions League, to everything he means to the rojiblanca team as a source of stability.
From all perspectives. In sports, in non-stop competition in the most prestigious tournament in the world (runners-up in 2013-14 and 2015-16; semi-finalist in 2016-17; quarter-finalists in 2014-15, 2019-20 and 2021-22; eliminated in round of 16 final in 2018-19 and 2020-21 and lost in the group stage in 2017-18 and this last year) and economically, in which he appears as an indispensable factor in the heights that he moves now.
“We went back to repeating something that at one point seemed complicated”, the Argentinian coach underlined on Sunday. Under his command, the Champions League generated direct income for Atlético de Madrid up to 650 million euroswaiting for the television “market pool” to join this campaign (some 8 million) and the quantities already certain in the next edition, some 15.5 million eurosfor their simple participation.
For example, in a subpar tour like this season’s group stage, where they were painfully eliminated in bottom place, with just one win and two draws from six matches, they have so far achieved some 51 million eurosfor the 30,699 that correspond to their UEFA ranking (it is the sixth by coefficient of the last 10 years), 15.64 for having played in the first round and 4.66 for their sporting results, even if they have been so disappointing.
In the figures distributed by UEFA between the concepts of wins, draws, round progress, coefficient and television market by country, Atlético perceives 89.593 million euros last season in the Champions League, when they reached the quarter-finals (they were eliminated on goal difference by Manchester City, 1-0 in the first leg and 0-0 in the second leg).
In 2020-21, when he fell in the round of 16 with the Chelsea, were 75.060 million euros; in 2019-20 (it reached the quarterfinals, when it was defeated in the only duel by Leipzig, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic) it was 91,454 million; in 2018-19, 85,650 million until elimination in the round of 16 against Juventus; in 2017-18, outside the group stage, he made only 31,730 (then he added 16,127 million as Europa League champion).
In 2016-17, up to the semi-finals, he entered €60.615 million; In 2015-16, the last time he played in the final, at the San Siro against Real Madrid, he added 69.665 million; in 2014-15, when he was beaten in the quarterfinals, 43,723 million; and in 2013-14, when he played the decisive match in Lisbon, lost in extra time against Real Madrid, he collected 52.687 millionaccording to official data from UEFA in its annual financial reports.
The effect on the balance sheet, among all the sporting achievements of this entire era, is evident. Before Simeone, in 2011-12, the prediction was 129.8 million euros. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, which adversely affected all financial aspects of each club, Atlético had achieved 515 million euros in his plan for that year. A 297 percent difference between one moment and the next, until the pandemic is reduced.
From 57% of initial points to 73% post World Cup
Simeone remains infallible in qualifying for the Champions League, which is also fundamental when it comes to dealing with his continuity at Atlético year after year. “I still have one year on my contract and it’s closely linked to whether or not I’m in the Champions League. We’ll talk like we do every year with Miguel (Ángel Gil Marín, CEO), Andrea (Berta, sporting director) and Enrique (Cerezo, club president ) and as always we will look for the best for the team”said in this sense the coach, whose relationship ends in 2024, waiting for there to be a renewal beyond that year, but before next season begins.
The switch was not so clear when Atlético went to the 2022 World Cup with a 1-0 defeat against Mallorca. At the time, they were fifth in the table, 11 points behind second-placed Real Madrid. Now he is second, with two points on the third, also the ‘Merengue’. So far he had won only half of his games: 7 out of 14.
“In November, we were in the clinic and a doctor came and told us we almost died, but, well, working day to day, looking like we think at the time, what can we do? Worry about what your job is, get better the team. You can’t improve the other thing. Worry about working so that the team improves. We worked, the boys followed us and today the doctor told us that we are still alive”Simeone explained after the 3-0 win over Osasuna, the eighth following at home.
Between those first fourteen days, with 24 points won out of 42 possible (57 percent), and the following 21, when he scored 48 points out of 63 (73 percent) there are two different teams. The first is unrecognizable, the second is imposing. They have suffered just two losses in their last 19 fights and have collected ten wins in their last twelve rounds. From Qatar 2022 onwards, he added 15 winshe gave up three draws and suffered three losses, one fewer than in his previous 14 rounds.
“Faced with difficulties, you have to choose what to do, how to behave. And I think I’ve had, first of all, an excellent response from the players, because without them it’s impossible. They came back from the World Cup in a different way, they faced the different situations with a lot of personality and the team has grown a lot”evaluate Simeon.
“Talking about names, from Oblak to Hermoso, at the end of the season for Giménez, which is extraordinary; the moment of Savic, the help of Axel (Witsel) in a place that is not his (central right on the five-back line who has consolidated again for twelve days, since Reinildo Mandava’s injury on February 25 against Real Madrid), the enormous growth of Molina, not to mention what Carrasco is doing, who is an extraordinary player when he manages to play at that speed, ” He has explained.
“De Paul’s vision of the game, who sees what the others don’t see; Koke’s place (as a midfielder in the triangle in the middle of the field), who in that position is always difficult to explain, because he has little recovery, but sees better than the others and allows us to play better; the momentum of Lemar; the help of Saúl; the growth of Barrios; not to mention Morata, Memphis, Correa, each from his place giving us help so that the team that I found the offensive goal, Griezmann’s amazing season, which gives us a different player in the squad, and all those guys out there who, in the few minutes they were able to play, gave their all to take us to the final goal. complicated year, the first six months were very difficult,” he admitted.
Jason Root is the go-to source for sports coverage at News Rebeat. With a passion for athletics and an in-depth knowledge of the latest sports trends, Jason provides comprehensive and engaging analysis of the world of sports.