Atletico Madrid is only ranked behind Real Madrid in Uefa club coefficient ranking. They are the second best team in Europe and still failed to make it into knockout stages of the Uefa Champions League. Fourteenth ranked Chelsea and twenty-ninth ranked AS Roma outsmart the Spanish side to degrade them to Europa League action.
Los Rojiblanocos are back into Europa League after playing four successive Champions League knockout seasons. Last time Atletico played in Europe’s second tier competition was in 2012/13 season. A year ago, they were the eventual champion in Europe’s second division. Since then, two time Europa League winner has enjoyed a great time playing in Europe’s top competition and challenged the best teams in Europe.
They end being finalists in 2013/14 and 2015/16 of Uefa Champions League. On both of the occasion they suffered a close defeat against the cross city rival Real Madrid. Atletico’s success credit in recent seasons goes to the head coach Diego Simeone and he deserved to be winning trophies rather than finishing as finalists.
Simeone will enjoy playing in Uefa Champions League, but he knows he has more chances of lifting a trophy playing in Europa League. His side did suffer group stage elimination, but he grabbed more points against the group winners AS Roma than the bottom side Qarabag FC.
A successful run of four years making into knockout stages ends in 2017/18 season. Atletico had a great run in 2013/14 season of Champions League. They defeated Barcelona and Chelsea in quarterfinals and semifinals respectively to represent themselves in the final. They also present a good match to Real Madrid in the final playing a 1-1 draw in normal time. It was only their tiredness in extra-time, which cost them Europe’s elite trophy.
Los Colchoneros didn’t enjoyed a great season in 2014/15, but they still managed to go far till quarterfinals. They eventually lost to Real Madrid once again in quarterfinals as their cross city rival goes on to play semifinal with an aggregate 1-0 victory.
The 2015/16 season was Atletico’s season. They tried hard to finally lift the trophy they were hunting since a long time, but once again their cross city rival had the luck to prevail. The Red & White sees off Barcelona in quarterfinals, Bayern Munich in semifinals, but Real once again lift the trophy winning on penalties. It was 1-1 after 120 minutes of play, but Los Blancos lifted the trophy winning 5-3 on penalties to shatter Rojiblancos dream.
Atletico get another chance to take revenge against Real in 2016/17 season. They were in the semifinal after registering a close 2-1 aggregate victory against Leicester City in quarterfinals. Once again Los Blancos were into their path and they fail to outsmart their cross city rivals. The game ended 2-4 aggregate in favor of Real Madrid and Los Rojiblancos given up their fighting spirit to lift Champions League trophy.
The 2017/18 season ends their supremacy in Europe. They didn’t make into the knockout stages of the competition and are back into Europe’s second tier. They’ll be Europe’s top side in second tier competition and they have the better chances to lift Europa League trophy directly playing in the round of 32. However, it’s not only Atletico who have been degraded to Europa League as a top team. Napoli, RB Leipzig, and Borussia Dortmund could also join them in last 32 of Europa League. Europa League is going to be an entertaining watch with teams like Arsenal, AC Milan, Villarreal, Lyon, Athletic Bilbao, Lazio and Zenit Saint Petersburg fighting for the Europe’s second tier trophy.