A lot of speculations arose whether Atletico Madrid can compete with the top dogs in LaLiga since their star player Griezman left the team. And while losing such an important player is by no means something 2018/19 LaLiga runners-up can just brush off, Atletico Madrid look to be in good hands, with El Cholo making sure losing Griezman will not weaken his team.
Atletico Madrid – Departures and Arrivals
After a disappointing end of the 2018/19 season, when Atletico Madrid finished runners-up in LaLiga, 11 points behind Barcelona and 8 points ahead of Real Madrid, Los Colchoneros went through some drastic changes ahead of the 2019/20 season in hopes to enter the new season stronger. The biggest change in the team and one everyone is talking about is the departure of Antoine Griezmann, who left for Barcelona. On top of that, Atletico Madrid also said their goodbye to Lucas Hernandez who left for Bayern Munich and Diego Godin who left for Inter, just to name a few. On the other side, Los Colchoneros welcomed new arrivals in Marcos Llorente, Hector Herrera, Kieran Trippler, Mario Hermoso, Felipe, Renan Lodi, Ivan Saponjic and the most expensive transfer of the summer transfer window, new football superstar Joao Felix.
Can Atletico Madrid win LaLiga this season?
With a long list of arrivals and departures from the team, it’s safe to say, Atletico Madrid enter the new season with a completely new look, which arguably does not look worse compared to the squad which represented them last term. In fact, there are arguments to be made, Atleti look far better to how they did last season. Still, there is one big question that needs answering. Can the new additions help Atletico Madrid in their quest to win LaLiga and possibly even take a shot at the UEFA Champions League title?
It might be early to say for sure, yet we did get to see a glimpse of how the new (and improved) Atletico Madrid will look like this term. Looking solely at Atl. Madrid offseason fixtures, Diego Simeone’s men started off with a 2:1 defeat against Beitar Jerusalem, which took place barely three days after their last fixture of 2018/19 season. With that in mind, we can’t really count it as one of the offseason matches. That being said, Atleti managed to win every single fixture that took place after their clash with Jerusalem outfit, most notable being the 3:7 win over Real Madrid and 2:1 win over Juventus at the start of August. Boasting with an incredible 6-0-1 record in the offseason, all eyes were on Atletico Madrid, with people wondering whether they can translate their offseason form into the 2019/20 LaLiga season and they did, to some degree. At the time of writing, all teams in LaLiga finished their round three fixtures and it is Atletico Madrid who are one of the few still undefeated teams in the league. Furthermore, they are the only Spanish team who has won all the opening three fixtures, meaning Diego Simeone’s men enjoyed a perfect start of the new season. A 1:0 win against Getafe, 0:1 against Leganes and a close, yet deserved 3:2 win against Eibar. But are those results enough to convince us Atl. Madrid can push through and win the league?
Seeing how LaLiga is barely three round in, it’s way too early to jump to any conclusions on how Atl. Madrid will perform deeper into the season, yet there is one thing that caught our eye. Felix’s performances are not as spectacular as his pricetag might suggest. He is without a doubt a very talented player, but with the lack of any real experience, he, unfortunately, fails to live up to the expectations put on him. We do believe that Felix can flourish into one of the best LaLiga players under the guidance of Simeone. That being said, he is still far from reaching that status as of now.
Can Atletico Madrid compete against FC Barcelona and Real Madrid?
While Atletico performances so far were far from impressive, they still earned themselves three straight wins, which something we can’t simply overlook. There are arguments to be made Los Colchoneros did not have to face very hard opponents in their opening three fixtures which are true and brings us to the final factor that will have a huge effect on whether Atletico Madrid can win the LaLiga or not. The performance of other teams, namely Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have been the frontrunners of LaLiga for the past 7 years, when they finished first, second or third on the LaLiga standings. Out of the three, it was Barcelona who were the most successful in recent years (5 titles), followed by Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid (both 1 title). With all three teams more than capable of winning the title this season, it’s only fair to say Atletico Madrid’s success will heavily depend on how their two rivals perform. With that in mind, things do look up for Los Colchoneros. Barcelona failed to impress with a 1-1-1 record three rounds deep into LaLiga, whereas it’s Real Madrid who enter the new season with a completely new team, which will need some time to get in synch before they start producing needed results to return to former glory.
All things considered, there are a lot of “IFs” when it comes to where will Atletico end up this season. They have entered the 2019/20 season with a new team, which has the potential to become very strong, still, we are not sure when will the squad live up to their potential. Real Madrid face a similar problem, as they seemingly need time to get in sync. Not to say Los Blancos have been performing badly up to now, yet there is still a lot of room for improvement. Last but not least it’s Barcelona, who unlike Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid started the season very poorly and should they not find their rhythm quickly, both Madrid outfits could run away in the title race.
So can Atletico Madrid win the LaLiga title? They can. While it’s way too early to say whether they will, we can be certain, Simeone’s men will once again contest the top spot. Despite the fact they have failed to claim the title twice in a row, there is always the old saying they can count on: “Third time’s a charm”.
Sports journalist, content writer and passionate football lover.