Atletico Madrid has been one of the best La Liga clubs with wonderful players over the last decades. Read on to find out about the best Atletico Madrid players of all time.
Atletico Madrid, simply known as Atletico, Atleti or Atleti, is a professional football club located in Madrid, Spain. The club competes in La Liga and plays its home games at the Metropolitano Stadium, which has a capacity of 68,456.
The club has had several nicknames throughout history, including Los Colchoneros and Los Indios, but now they are known as Los Rojiblancos. Atletico owns the Liga MX Atlético San Luis and the Canadian Premier League team Atlético Ottawa.
In terms of league titles, Atletico Madrid is the third most successful Spanish football club after Real Madrid and Barcelona. Atletico's home kit is a red and white striped shirt with blue shorts and blue and red socks, designed in 1911 for the club.
As one of the most successful clubs in the history of Spanish football, Atletico have won ten La Liga titles, ten Copa del Rey titles, and two Spanish Super Cups.
Moreover, the club won the Madrid derby in February 2014, becoming the first in La Liga history to beat Real Madrid three times in a row at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, their home stadium.
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The article is a brief overview of the personal and professional information about the greatest Atletico Madrid players of all time.
Antoine Griezmann, born 21 March 1991, is a French professional footballer who used to play as a forward for Spanish club Atletico Madrid and the France national team. He has been recognized as one of the best Atletico Madrid players of all time.
The petite forward began his career by playing for hometown club UF Mâcon. He embarked on several trials with professional clubs to earn a spot in one of their youth academies, but was rejected because clubs questioned his size and lightweight frame.
In 2005, while on trial with Montpellier, Griezmann played in a friendly match against the youth academy of Paris Saint-Germain in Paris, and impressed several clubs, notably Spanish club Real Sociedad, whose scouts were attending the event.
Later, Atlético Madrid signed him from Real Sociedad for €30m on 28 July 2014 and Antoine Griezmann became a globally recognized star.
On 17 September, he scored his first goal for the club, in a Champions League group stage match against Olympiacos, in a game which Atlético eventually lost 3–2.
The Frenchman used his frightening pace and finishing skills to deadly change the result of matcjes. He helped the club win the UEFA Europa League in 2018 with his six goals.
On 22 April 2017, he scored the only goal of a win at RCD Espanyol, thus becoming the second Frenchman after Karim Benzema to score 100 La Liga goals.
He ended up playing 257 games for Los Rojiblancos and scored 133 goals, making him the fifth-highest scorer in their history before moving to Barcelona.
He helped his club to achieve UEFA Europa League, UEFA Super Cup, and Supercopa de España.
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Another player among the best Atletico Madrid footballers of all time is Adelardo Rodriguez Sanchez, commonly referred to as Adelardo, who was a Spanish professional footballer. Adelardo, born 26 September 1939, in Badajoz, played as a midfielder during his career. He is definitely one of the best Atletico Madrid players of all time.
Although Adelardo was only 1.71 meters tall, his skill and sharpness made up for his short stature, and he scored 113 goals during his time at Atletico. He played a total of 551 games for the club, making him the all-time appearance maker for Los Rojiblancos.
Adelardo Rodriguez has an argument to be Atletico Madrid's best-ever midfielder, holding the club record for appearances with 551 matches.
He has scored 113 goals while also winning 10 trophies including the 1974 Intercontinental Cup over Argentinian side Independiente. As a clever midfielder, he totaled 19 years in his career between Atletico Madrid and Badajoz, Rodriguez also earns 14 caps for Spain.
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The next player on the list of the best players in Atletico Madrid history is Jorge Resurrección Merodio, better known as Koke who is a Spanish professional footballer. He plays as a midfielder at Atletico Madrid and is among the best Atletico Madrid players of all time.
The current captain of Atletico grew up in the Atletico academy and spent his entire football career at the club. Koke is a flexible player and can play anywhere in the midfield and usually organizes attacks and helps his teammates score goals.
Having made 442 appearances for Atlético, he is a rare one-club man that grew up and developed in Atlético's academy before making his debut in 2009.
Being versatile enough to play anywhere in midfield, the Spanish international has created plenty of goals that helped them win La Liga, the Copa del Rey and two UEFA Europa Leagues, remarkably all in the last decade.
Now having the captaincy of the team, Koke expects to continue winning trophies during a hugely successful period in the club's history.
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The next player among the best footballers in the history of Atletico Madrid is Juan Carlos Aguilera Martín, a retired Spanish footballer who played as a right winger early in his career, but later played at right-back. He played in La Liga for almost two decades.
He was a regular in Atletico during his time at the club and was a key figure in the design of the team.
Born in Madrid, Carlos Aguilera made his debut at the Estadio Vicente Calderón in 1988 and helped the club achieve back-to-back Copa del Rey cup successes, before departing for CD Tenerife in 1993.
He returned three years later to Los Colchoneros, and remained at the club despite relegation from La Liga, playing out the rest of his career in the capital and played a total of 454 games.
As one of the best Atletico Madrid players of all time, Aguilera was palced as the fourth-highest all-time appearance maker for Atlético. His honors with Atlético Madrid are Copa del Rey (x2), Segunda División.
Among the all-time greatest Atletico Madrid players is Diego Pablo Simeone González, nicknamed El Cholo, a former Argentine player who played as a midfielder during his professional football career. He has been the manager of Atletico Madrid since December 2011.
Simeone has many achievements with Atletico both as a player and as a manager, and is considered by many experts and fans of the club as a legendary figure in the history of Atletico Madrid.
Signed from Sevilla, Diego Simeone first made his name for Atlético as a tough-tackling, combative midfielder. He was a key player in the team that won both La Liga and the Copa del Rey in the 1995/96 season before leaving for Inter Milan in 1997.
Simeone returned in 2003 for a brief second spell at the club, spending two years before departing once more. Yet today, he is more known for his managerial tenure at Los Rojiblancos, continuing to lead the club to huge success.
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The next player on the list of the best Atletico Madrid players ever is Juan Francisco Torres Belén, better known as Juanfran, a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a right-back. He currently plays for Brazilian São Paulo Club.
Juanfran is one of the best right-backs in La Liga history, coming to Atletico in 2011 with a contract worth just over €4 million and joining the club's regular squad.
Throughout his time at Atletico, he was a reliable and accurate defender who was present in almost all of the club's matches.
Dependable and defensively solid throughout, he left the Madrid side having played 355 games during his eight years playing for the club.
Gabriel Fernández Arenas, born 10 July 1983, known as Gabi, is a Spanish former professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder. He is definitely one of the best Atletico Madrid players ever.
The next player on the list of the best Atletico Madrid footballers of all time is Gabi. His style of play is very similar to Diego Simeone in his games, and in many cases he paved the way for his teammates to score goals, especially for Koke and Diego Costa, and played as the heart of the team in designing attacks.
He signed for Atlético in 2011 on a transfer fee of €3 million. The season was a success for the Spaniard as he earned captainship making 31 appearances and scoring twice.
As one of the best Atletico Madrid players of all time, the captain not only lifted the La Liga trophy, but also the UEFA Europa League trophy twice as well as the Copa del Rey. He made 413 appearances in total for Los Rojiblancos and embedded himself into club history.
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Full name: José Luis Aragones Suárez Martinez
Date of birth: 28 July 1938
Place of birth: Madrid, Spain
Date of death: 1 February 2014 (aged 75)
Playing position(s): Midfielder / Forward
Luis Aragonés Suárez, 28 July 1938 – 1 February 2014, was a Spanish footballer and manager.
Before becoming a Euros-winning manager, Luis Aragonés was a successful centre-midfielder for Atlético. The man, who was nicknamed 'Zapatones', translated as 'Big Boots' for his free-kick abilities, aided the Madrid side to two Copa del Rey trophies and three La Ligas during his ten years.
After retiring from football, he became the manager of various teams, and had special skills in free kicks. He died on 1 February 2014 aged 75.
His importance in the 1969/70 La Liga win was emphasised by being co-awarded the Pichichi Trophy as the joint-top scorer that season. His legacy is very much intact, as he is still among all-time greatest Atletico Madrid players and the all-time top scorer with 172 goals for the club.
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Full name: Fernando José Torres Sanz
Date of birth: 20 March 1984 (age 36)
Place of birth: Fuenlabrada, Spain
Height: 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position(s): Striker
The next player of our list of the best footballers in history of Atletico Madrid is Fernando José Torres Sanz, nicknamed El Ninio, a former Spanish professional footballer who played as a striker during his professional football career.
Torres started his career with Atletico Madrid and joined Atletico's first team through the youth system.
Torres was a fast striker with excellent vision who had very good ball control skills and was technically very skilled. He used pressure on the defenders with his speed and physical strength, in addition to scoring goals; he also created scoring opportunities for his teammates.
Torres scored 83 goals in the six years he spent at the club, helping the side gain promotion back to La Liga in 2002, before moving to Premier League team Liverpool in 2007.
Full name: Diego Roberto Godín Leal
Date of birth: 16 February 1986 (age 34)
Place of birth: Rosario, Uruguay
Height: 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position(s): Centre back
Diego Roberto Godín Leal, born 16 February 1986, is a Uruguayan professional footballer who plays as a centre back for Italian club Cagliari and the Uruguay national team.
Among the greatest Atletico Madrid players of all time is Diego Roberto Godin Leal, a Uruguayan professional footballer who plays as a central defender.
Although Godin does not have significant speed or physical strength, he is known as one of the best and most consistent defenders in the world. During the 2018 World Cup, Jack Watson of The Independent described him as "the best center-back in the world".
Godin is an intelligent center-back, best known for his leadership, position-building and composure. His performances were well-rewarded as he helped the club lift two UEFA Europa League trophies as well as their La Liga title win in 2014.
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Full name: Jan Oblak
Date of birth: 7 January 1993 (age 27)
Place of birth: Škofja Loka, Slovenia
Height: 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position(s): Goalkeeper
Jan Oblak, born 7 January 1993, is a Slovenian professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Spanish club Atlético Madrid and the Slovenia national team. He is considered to be among the best Atletico Madrid players of all time.
Atletico Madrid’s track record of featuring a long list of star goalkeepers is one of the best in Europe, but in terms of building a long and dominant run with Atletico, Oblak’s current run as the team’s starter stands above the rest.
The Slovenian has been the starter since 2014, and has helped Atletico win the 2018 Europa League and reach the 2016 Champions League final.
He has played in 245 combined matches for Atletico since arriving from Benfica, and is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world. He is also still relatively young for a goalkeeper at 27, so he still has several years to add to his legacy.