Atletico Madrid: All the key info

Monday 13 December 2021 14:50

Manchester United will face Atletico Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League, but how much do you know about Diego Simeone's side?

We've faced the club from the Spanish capital just twice before in our history – a Cup Winners' Cup tie in 1991/92 which the Spaniards won 4-1 on aggregate.

The Madrid side have been one of the most consistent outfits in European football during recent years, winning a pair of La Liga titles and reaching the Champions League final on two occasions. They also won the Europa League in 2010, 2012 and 2018.

It's sure to be a fascinating tie, and here's why...

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This will be the first time that Ronaldo has faced a Madrid club since he returned to Old Trafford last summer, and his record against Atletico suggests he'll be looking forward to the reunion. Cristiano has netted an impressive 25 goals against the club, including a famous hat-trick for Juventus during his spell in Turin. There were, of course, plenty in his Real Madrid days, including two hat-tricks and a clinching penalty in the 2014 Champions League final.


Our Spanish no.1 has been at United so long now – 10 years and counting – that it's easy to overlook that he is a former Atleti player. He joined United in the summer of 2011, after helping them lift the Europa League and Super Cup in 2010. De Gea spent his developmental years at the club, rising through their academy, before making his first-team debut at the age of just 18 in 2009. He saved a penalty in his very first La Liga game, against Real Zaragoza. Other Reds to have played for Los Colchoneros include Quinton Fortune, Diego Forlan and Radamel Falcao.


Our only previous match-up with Atletico came 30 years ago, in the second round of the Cup Winners' Cup, which we entered as holders following success in Rotterdam at the end of the 1990/91 season. A Paulo Futre-inspired Atleti were comfortable 3-0 winners at the Vicente Calderon, before a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, after Bernd Schuster cancelled out Mark Hughes's early strike. 


We mentioned that the last meeting between the sides took place at the much-loved Calderon, but the Madrilenos moved to a brand-spanking new ground in 2017. This will be United's first visit to the stadium.
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Atleti won the Spanish title last season – their second success under Simeone, and the 11th in their history – but have endured a more challenging start to 2021/22. They lost the Madrid derby to neighbours Real on Sunday evening, due to goals from Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio. The result left them fourth in the table, a whopping 13 points behind Carlo Ancelotti's team.


Former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez is still going strong at the age of 34, and finished last season as Atletico's top scorer. Other key players include central midfielder Koke and French World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann.