Atletico Madrid have started the second half of the season in first place after Manchester United target Koke scored the game-winning goal against a sorry Malaga FC side. They now top FC Barcelona, who has yet to play their first match of the calendar year against bottom-dwellers Elche. Atletico Madrid, under Diego Simeone, is enjoying their best season since 1995 and look like they could win La Liga this year.
It would be a wonderful sight to see Atletico topping the table at the end of the season at the expense of Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. Barcelona and Real have won the last nine seasons with Valencia being the last team outside of Spain’s two-headed giants to be crowned champions in 2003. It is time for a different team to lift the crown.
Atletico still have a long way to go because the season is only halfway over and many of their star players have been targeted by Europe’s elite clubs. Manchester United have inquired about the services of midfield maestro Koke, Chelsea are keen on adding Diego Costa to their already-wealthy attacking options, and Turkish winger Arda Turan‘s name is constantly thrown around in the media.
Atletico are lucky that they are in the Champions League because their players would be cup-tied thus making them less attractive to Europe’s elite. They have been pitted against AC Milan in the Champions League round of 16 and look like they can easily progress to the next round.
Should they do so, they will compete toe-to-toe with FC Barcelona for the Spanish crown. I believe this team has what it takes to out-muscle Barcelona and win La Liga. If they are to do so, they will need to keep all of their star players and hope for a little bit of luck.