I could go with a dramatic and intense introduction to this text, but that wouldn’t change much. El Derbi madrileño is probably the second biggest club match out there right now. So why would it need any kind of build up?
With El Clásico being the biggest game in Spain (and the world pretty much), the clash between the two Madrid giants is often forgotten amongst neutral football fans. The fixture has proven, in the past few years, to be rather non-Spanish in a sense that the intensity is something that we rarely see in La Liga. It’s dirty, it’s ugly, and extremely infected. Atletico Madrid have in later years been famous, and criticized for their incredibly tough mentality coming in to these big games. This often sets the tone for the whole match, and usually triggers the opposing side to play in the same manners.
We’ve seen a pattern in their game plans against the big clubs in Primera División. To get the opposing team out of balance, out of their rhythm, which is so important for the more attacking sides. They’ve figured out what they need to do in order to do just that, and although it may look as if they’ve completely lost their minds and actually try to get sent off, it has proven to be very successful against the other Spanish and European giants.
Their latest results against the other two Spanish mega clubs in the past few years is nothing but impressive, not having lost at the Santiago Bernabéu in the league since 2nd December 2012, and knocking Barcelona out of the Champions League two times in the last three years. Their 4-0 win over Real Madrid in their 2014/2015 La Liga campaign was probably one of the most impressive games I’ve ever seen performed tactically. They absolutely smashed Ronaldo and the rest of Los Merengues, and if you ask me, there’s a possibility we’ll see a similar display tonight.
The Atleti fans are always 100% behind their team. This makes the Vicente Calderon a nightmare for all other teams trying to silent the constantly cheering fans. Tonight will be and huge test for Zinedine Zidane and his Los Blancos. They’ll want the win. They’ll want the three points. They’ll want the glory. But I think Atletico will want it more.