Barca busted, Madrid Mbappeless - Atleti have the best squad in Spain

Martin Macdonald
Martin Macdonald 1 Sep 2021 11:26 BST 3 min read
Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez at Barcelona

Atletico Madrid are the current champions of Spain, having successfully overcome Real Madrid and Barcelona to claim the title in 2020/21.

Now, they are in a fantastic position to actually defend the championship and establish themselves as the most dominant force in the country following the summer transfer window.

Los Colchoneros have had a fantastic window, while closest rivals Real Madrid and Barca have had a disastrous one.

Not only have Atletico brought back their prodigal son Antoine Griezmann, but in the process they have weakened Barca's forward options.


On deadline day, the World Cup winner completed a sensational loan move back to the capital, where he enjoyed the best playing days of his career so far.

Yes, Griezmann did not perform well enough for Barcelona, but if there is any man who can get him back to his best, it is Diego Simeone.

Barca, well, they replaced the Frenchman in underwhelming fashion with Luuk de Jong.

A year ago, the Blaugrana made the decision to allow Luis Suarez to leave for Atletico, and he helped fire his new club to the title. Barca may regret doing the same with Griezmann.

The biggest hit Barcelona have taken this season has naturally been the departure of legendary forward Lionel Messi, who has joined Paris Saint-Germain.

As for Real Madrid, well, they put all their eggs in the basket of Kylian Mbappe.

PSG refused to negotiate despite a reported €200 million offer on deadline day, leaving Los Blancos without a big money signing, again.

David Alaba has been brought in, but he alone cannot plug the gap left by the departures of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane.

As well as Griezmann, Atletico have signed Rodrigo De Paul from Udinese and Matheus Cunha from Hertha Berlin.

Though Saul Niguez left for Chelsea, they are well-stocked in the midfield department.

Atletico's squad depth

Goalkeepers: Jan Oblak, Benjamin Lecomte

Defenders: Jose Gimenez, Renan Lodi, Stefan Savic, Felipe, Mario Hermoso, Kieran Trippier, Sime Vrsaljko

Midfielders: Geoffrey Kondogbia, Rodrigo De Paul, Koke, Thomas Lemar, Marcos Llorente, Hector Herrera, Yannick Carrasco

Forwards: Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann, Angel Correa, Joao Felix, Matheus Cunha

Atletico Madrid XI

Diego Simeone has deployed a three-man backline for the start of the new season, and that should continue with Stevan Savic, Jose Gimenez and Mario Hermoso in defence.

Kieran Trippier should be asked to play as a right wing-back, probably with Yannick Carrasco on the left.

In the middle, Marcos Llorente is available to partner Koke.

It is in attack that Simeone now has a plethora of options, and expect Griezmann to come in perhaps in the number 10 position behind Suarez and Angel Correa.

Unfortunately for Joao Felix, the acquisition of Griezmann means he will fall down the pecking order.

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