Atletico Madrid history is a tale of woe interspersed with brief, comet like, successes.... this story has more twists and turns than a penalty shoot out!

Emotional ups and downs are par for the course when you are a fan of "Atleti". For this reason one of the many nicknames given to the clubs followers is "los suffradors", the sufferers!

For those in the USA I make no apologies for not calling them Atletico Madrid Soccer club. This is and always will be Football not soccer!:-)

Plans are now in place for the relocation of the club so you may wish to check out the clubs stadium before it becomes a part of Atletico Madrid history.

Atletico Madrid History: Humble start

Atletico Madrid scarf

"Atleti, Atleti, Ole ole Ole!"

Atletico Madrid´s history starts inauspiciously with them being formed in 1903 by three students from Spains Basque region in the North. Copying the jersey of their own Atletic Bilbao, Atletico Madrid started life playing in blue and white stripes, Not the famous red and white that is so well known today! It wasn´t until 1921 that the club became fully independent of Atletic Bilbao.

In 1928, Atletico were asked to join the inaugural ten team Spanish league as they had been runners up in the Copa del Rey two seasons previous.

After a change of manager in only their second season in the Spanish league, Atletico suffered their first relegation to the "segunda" (second) division. Bringing back their previously succesful manager "El Bombin" (the bowler hat, Fred Pentland) they successfully achieved "primera" division status in 1934 before again finishing in the relegation spot in 1936. Although this could have been a further blemish on the Atletico Madrid history books relegation was suspended following the outbrake of the Spanish Civil war.

Things began to look up for Atleti in the late 1950´s before the best years in Atletico Madrid´s history occured in the 1960´s and 1970´s. Unfortunately though this was when their rivals (Real) from the north of the city were at their best. Although picking up five championships in this time Atleti were forced to watch on as Real gained european success and consequently Europe and world wide fame...

As recently as 2001 Atleti were in the Spanish 2nd division however since winning that division in 2001 they have performed steadily in "La liga" (the League) with young centre forward Fernando Torres, now a star of European and Spanish football with Liverpool FC.

Atletico Madrid History: Famous Character

Jesus Gil

Football club chairman are a strange breed and the the most famous in Atletico Madrid´s history is no exception! Famous even beyond Spanish shores for his managerial appointments and the subsequent rapid dismissals... Jesus Gils directorship of the club was never dull!

Taking over as president at the Vincente Calderon in 1987 Jesus took on a club that had not won the league, nor looked like doing so, in the previous ten years. Bringing with him the financial strength of his business and construction interests in Marbella he set about make large amounts of money available for new player purchases.

Whilst never conclusively proven it was long suspected that Jesus Gil had ties to international crime. During his tenure as Mayor of Marbella the resort rapidly became a place of residence for european criminals, however like all good politicians (?) Jesus could never be formally linked to these people. In 2006 the entire Marbella government offices were raided by police and as a consequence many high profile figures were jailed for corruption.

In 2004 Jesus Gil died from a brain hemorrhage having secured only one league title for Atleti in his 17 years at the club! Jesus is one chapter in the clubs turbulent past that the Atletico Madrid history books will remember for his character.... if not trophies.

Atletico Madrid History: Honours

One of the further curiositys surrounding Atletico Madrid is their Intercontinental title. Despite never having won the European Cup Atletico were invited to take part in the final of the Intercontinental cup when Bayern Munich declined. Beating Independiente of Argentina over two legs Atletico Madrid secured the trophy:

  • Spanish Champions 9 times: 1939-40, 1940-41, 1949-50, 1950-51, 1965-66, 1969-70, 1972-73, 1976-77, 1995-96
  • Spanish Cup Winners 9 times:1960, 1961, 1965, 1972, 1976, 1985, 1991, 1992, 1996
  • Spanish Super Cup Winners 1 time:1985
  • European Cup Winners Cup 1 time:1962
  • Europa League winners:2010 (inaugural competition)
  • European Super cup winners:2010
  • Intercontinental Cup Winners 1 time:1974

Now you know Atletico Madrid´s history go on and read on about the Stadium and its location or pehaps you are now ready to sample the Matchday atmosphere and learn about Atletico Madrid ticketing?

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