Pride and seven million at stake

Los jugadores del Atlético celebran el gol de Giménez al Sevilla.

When in minute 85 En-Nesyri headed that ball that Óliver Torres had tempered At the corner, Atlético was condemned to play on Sunday in the last day for something: being third. With the 1-0 that in 84′ embraced Atlético no. He was already third, a mathematician, ahead of Sevilla in the table in this 2021-22. Never has an Atlético del Cholo been below that position: first it has been twice (2020-21 and 2013-14), second also twice (2018-19 and 2017-18) and third all the others, on five occasions (2019-20, 2016-17, 2015-16, 2014 -15 and 2012-2013).

Pride is at stake in Anoeta, a stadium in which, by the way, Atlético sank its knee this season in a Copa del Rey in which Simeone did not speculate with the goalkeeper. Oblak start. Oblak, even against Rayo Majadahonda, a First RFEF team. But the Real knocked him down in San Sebastian, the Real got him down. A Real that has already tied the Europa League but that, if it wins on Sunday on matchday 38, the last one, could snatch Betis the 5th place. 62 points has. 64 Andalusians. Like Atleti and third place with Sevilla. One point takes out Lopetegui’s men. 68 by 67.

Athletic Shield/Flag

Real Sociedad-Atletico will continue to play on Sunday but has changed its schedule: It will be at 10:00 p.m., in the duels that will lower the curtain on this League (such as Barça-Villarreal and Sevilla-Athletic). And the party for the rojiblancos also has an economic component. Fundamental. But in addition to the pride of being third and not fourth, an interesting bag of money is at stake. The higher you finish in the ranking, the higher the cash prize. In the upper zone, it is estimated that the difference between one position and the next is seven million.

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And seven million is not trivial. Atlético suffered strongly from the blow of COVID. Last summer it had to undertake a capital increase, approved unanimously by its general meeting, of 181.8 million. The rojiblanco has ceased to be a selling club to truly settle among the greats. If in 2014, when he won LaLiga, several mainstays of that team left (Courtois, Filipe, Costa…, to Chelsea), in 2021, they all stayed. And that template, already champion, was reinforced. With the arrivals of De Paul, Cunha and Griezmann.

The season, this one that will end on Sunday in Anoeta, did not turn out, however, as expected. He competed in the Champions League, he deflated in LaLiga. “We all have responsibilities in not having gone further. Where we would have wanted and, despite fulfilling the club’s stipulations (qualifying for the next Champions League), we wanted to have done“confessed the coach at the end of Atlético-Sevilla on Sunday, the last game of the season in front of his fans. A few words in tune with those of the previous one. The same. Having given more of all. “We need to talk, try to improve, we approach Real Madrid and Barcelona from time to time, we won twice, but Sevilla, Betis, Villarreal, Real also approach us, sometimes Athletic and we have to be strong“. Like this Sunday. In Anoeta. And that this irregular season is not closed by another without flavor.

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