The Atlético de Madrid of Diego Pablo Simeone have reached their bottom after a decade established in the elite. They have lost the course and the identity that made them big. They are not that ugly team that used to win anymore. They have begun a decline towards the mediocrity.
The knock out from the Champions League in a group of Europa League level has just been the last straw. The proof that this team does not compete like they used to anymore. The confirmation that Simeone has lost control.
Atlético de Madrid have already paid in October for their multiple mistakes from all the areas in the club of an entity that has been poorly managed for too long, precisely at their best sporting moment ever. Because Simeone is the one who has taken them to their peak and now is also the one who is on his way to destroy it along with the board of directors.
Atlético are not recognizable neither on the field nor their aspect anymore. Atlético now only aim to accomplish their minimum goal, which is to qualify for the Champions League, as they can’t go beyond that, mostly because that is the way they have wanted it.
Atlético have multiple technical lacks in their roster that are subject to be even bigger (and more serious) based on a budget that was studied on being among the best 16 teams in Europe and that now has been unfulfilled while they have João Félix on the bench, who costed 120 million euros. What a waste of talent. They have already warned that they will have to undersell in January because the accounts do not add up. Same story as always.
Atlético have turned their shield into a logo, left the magic of ‘El Calderón Stadium’ and play as distorted as the stripes from their jersey, but overall they have acted like a big team against teams that have always been big. Because Atlético have never won without the commandments of Simeone, which are work and more work. Because Atlético loose against anyone without them.
The early knocked out in the Champions League is the biggest FAILURE of Simeone’s decade at Atlético. No excuses. And now they have (almost) an entire season ahead of them to think about everything that they could have done better, when they lost the course and if they can still change it.
I believe that Simeone’s time at Atlético has come to an end. He has already achieved everything he could have ever imagined except for the Champions League, but I fear that he will more than likely not lift it at this club no matter how much he tries.
The new roadmap for Atlético is based on saving the season with their minimum goal and to try to look to what they were in the past. Simeone can obviously decide when to leave, has he has earned it.
However, and even though I agree that his time at Atlético is over, I also think that people will realize how difficult it is what he has achieved at Atlético and even miss this “failures from the elite clubs”, as everyone should know that everything that Atlético have earned in the last decade is thanks to Simeone.
I am convinced that everything after him will be worst, but the symptoms of wear are clear. Simeone and Atlético have reached their point of no return.
Main image: @Atleti.