Atletico Madrid is probably one of the most difficult sides to play against. Their infinite defensive strategy can tire out any opposition. They’ll sit tight and defend, defend and defend, only for them to punish you when they get the chance.
It is very difficult to win matches when Atletico takes the lead. Once you go in deficit it’s all over for most of the teams. Such is the global identity which is set by Diego Simeone.
His impact on the club has been huge. To win the league twice in the same league where Real Madrid and Barcelona play is highly commendable.
But it must be said Diego Simeone might have had a few more trophies to his name including the Champions League if it was not for one Portuguese individual.
Cristiano Ronaldo is the devil for Atletico Madrid. His record against the capital club is incredible. More than his goals it’s the stage and context in which the goals were scored matters.
Ronaldo has four hattricks against the club, two of them coming in the champions league and two in La Liga. For an otherwise defensive side that is hard to break, Ronaldo has played 35 games against Diego Simeone’s side, and In those 35 games he has scored 25 goals and notched up 9 assists. A phenomenal record against a phenomenal team.
His two of the most important wins against Atletico came in the 2014 and 2016 Champions League finals.
In the 2014 final Ramos scored the last min equalizer that took the game to extra time. After that, chaos pursued as Real Madrid scored 3 more goals in the extra time, Ronaldo scoring a penalty to make it 4-1.
With this victory, Real Madrid won their 10th Champions League.
A couple of years later it is the same story. Real Madrid meets Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final. The game finishes 1-1 goes into extra time and then penalties.
Where Ronaldo scores the decisive penalty winning the Champions League again.
In the 2016 Semi-finals Real met Atletico again. He scored a hattrick in the first leg, hugely damaging the chances of Diego Simeone’s side. That hattrick proved enough as Real advanced to yet another Champions League final.
When Ronaldo left the Spanish Capital, Diego Simeone must have thought the curse is over. But CR7 now in black and white stripes of Juventus was facing Atletico again.
This was the 2019 round of 16 tie. Come to the first leg – Diego Simeone’s Atletico wins the game 2-0 playing at home.
Ronaldo states that he is going to over overturn the deficit.
That is exactly what he does.
Ronaldo scores a hattrick which includes an 86th min winner. The club from Italy wins 3-0 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate. Juventus reach the quarter-finals sending Atletico Madrid back home. This match and performance were the evidence that why Cristiano Ronaldo is called ‘Mr. Champions League’.
CR7 is the ghost that has haunted Atletico Madrid for years, in fact, every knockout tie in the Champions League that the capital club lost between 2014 and 2019 was at the hands of a side containing Cristiano.
Ronaldo has never faced Atletico Madrid playing in a United shirt. But that is supposed to change when the two sides meet in the round of 16 ties for this year’s Champions League.
United would hope that Ronaldo can assert his dominance yet again on the side from the Spanish capital.
He Did it in Spain, he did it in Italy, and now a chance to do it in England. Cristiano Ronaldo a kryptonite for Atletico Madrid.