Here is a look at the list of the best Atletico Madrid midfielders of all time.
In the course of recent years, Atletico Madrid have developed as a Spanish dominant force despite being the third La Liga team you'd consider. There were some excellent midfielders at Atletico Madrid, but who are the best players? We had a look and we're done with the last ten here.
The iconic white and reds have achieved amazing popularity in Spain. In spite of never lifting Europe's highest football tournament, the UEFA Champions League, Los Colchoneros is a powerhouse in the world of football. Los Rojiblancos were thrice European Cup runner-up, lifted a Cup Winners' Cup and two Europa League. They have captured the double in 1995-1996 winning both a Liga and Copa del Rey.
The club has been remembered by a variety of titles, namely Los Colchoneros and Los Indios. Their achievements in the La Liga and Copa del Rey in the late 1960s were arguably overshadowed by their latest accomplishments in the UEFA Europa League and further local achievements in the course of the last ten years. It is also a daunting challenge to choose the all-time best Atletico Madrid midfielders, yet we will try our best.
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Here is a look at the list of the best Atletico Madrid midfielders of all time.
Back at home, Pantic began his career with FK Paritizan. Without having a sensational impact, he decided to join Olimpija Ljubljana and Panionios FC. He transferred to Atletico at the age of 28 and, unexpectedly, his career started! In his first campaign, he helped them to win a historic double.
Milinko Pantic is undoubtedly one of the best ever Atletico Madrid Midfielders. An excellent strategist, a wonderful free-kick taker, and one of the best Atletico Madrid midfielders of all time was once a totally unknown footballer. He joined the club as a stranger and he ended up as one of the all-time best Atletico Madrid midfielders.
He is remembered for the goal he netted against Borussia Dortmund in the 1997 Champions League as well as an impressive performance against Barcelona in the same competition, where he netted four goals in one of the most memorable games at the Nou Camp.
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Jose Luis Caminero could be a Real Madrid star yet his career had begun in Real Valladolid. The player joined Atletico Madrid in 1993 and went on to be one of the best ever Atletico Madrid Midfielders. As a key member of this team, he won the Double in 1995-1996 and the Spanish Player of the Year that same campaign. He capped 21 times and took part in the 1994 World Cup Finals in the USA and the 1996 European Championship.
Shining as one of the greatest Spanish soccer players of the 1990s and one of the best Atletico Madrid midfielders of all time, Caminero was capable of playing in any midfield roles as a central midfielder or even on both flanks. In that sense, he was distinguished for his skills and versatility even when he played at the Camp Nou, being a real nightmare for Johan Cruyff's Barcelona.
The player made 408 La Liga appearances over 14 years and netted 57 goals. His dribbling, shots, and ball control were outstanding throughout his career which had an almost exclusive association with Valladolid and Atletico Madrid.
Larbi Benbarek who was born in Morocco was that good to earn the nickname of "Black Pearl". The player was the first Black player to rise to stardom in Europe. He became popular as a professional player at Stade Francasis Paris. When he moved to Atletico Madrid in 1948 he hit the height of his career and turned into one of the best Atletico Madrid midfielders of all time by winning two La Liga trophies.
Born in Morocco, Benbarek is regarded as one of the best French footballers of all time. He capped 19 times and scored three goals for France national football team. Between 1948 and 1953, Benbarek played 113 games and netted 56 goals for Los Colchoneros that made an unerasable mark in LaLiga history.
His professional career was restarted in 1946 at Paris club Stade Francais, as he netted 43 goals in 87 matches, ahead of a transfer for a then best 1M fee to Los Indios in 1948. Having the help of iconic Argentine manager Helenio Herrera, his inspiring play resulted in successive league championships in 1949/50 and 1950/51 for Atletico.
Benbarek turned into a legendary name in French, Spanish, and Moroccan soccer and was one of the pioneer footballers who left Africa to join European football. He is also regarded as one of the best Atletico Madrid midfielders ever. The player earned the nickname of ‘The Foot of God’. Edson Arantes do Nascimento once said in a nice compliment: ‘If I am the king of football, then Larbi Benbarek is the God of that’.
Having the Stade Philippe in Casablanca renamed Stade Larbi Benbarek, his pioneering status in Morocco was utterly appreciated. Coping hard times he, unfortunately, died in Casablanca in 1992. After six years, he was prized the world governing body’s highest honor, the FIFA Order of Merit.
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Joaquin Peiro is an iconic name for Atletico Madrid fans. The player displayed his best when his first club lifted successive Copa del Rey from 1959 to 1961 and the Cup Winners' Cup a year later. He also enjoyed the prime of his career in Serie A in 1962 playing for Torino. Then, in 1964, he joined Inter Milan and won the European Cup in 1965 as a key figure of "la Grande Inter". Joaquin Peiro capped12 times in 10 years.
He was a truly gifted and skillful left-footed wide player whose style of play at first caused comparisons with El Pibe de Oro. The player was famous for his speed along with brilliant technical skills. His feints, fast feet, stamina, and versatility empowered him to be effectively rapid with the ball at his feet and enabled him to take on several defenders. He is also regarded as one of the best Atletico Madrid midfielders ever.
He could both create and net goals with his keen vision and passing ability. He was a flexible footballer who was additionally used as a striker and as a midfielder. Regardless of his brilliant skills proved in his prime to be prone to injuries that considerably influenced his career in terms of goalscoring rate and early retirement.
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He won a European Cup with Porto in 1987. He was the best Portuguese player in the 1980s. He gained more than 40 caps for his country, representing it at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.
He played in Spain, France, Italy, and Japan, most notably with Atletico Madrid where he went on to become one of Atletico Madrid greatest midfielders ever. He won the European Cup in 1987, putting on a Man of the match performance in the final against FC Bayern Munich.
A highly talented and creative left-footed winger whose playing style initially drew comparisons with Diego Maradona, Futre was known in particular for his explosive acceleration as well as his excellent technical ability. His dribbling skills, pace, agility, and quick feet enabled him to be extremely fast with the ball at his feet and allowed him to take on several opponents.
Due to his vision and work-rate, Futre was capable both of creating and scoring goals and was a versatile player who was also deployed as a second striker and as an attacking midfielder on occasion during his time in Italy.
Despite the precocious talent, he demonstrated in his youth, he was also prone to injuries that greatly affected his career, leading to increasingly inconsistent performances, a poorer goalscoring rate, and a premature retirement at the age of 32.
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Bernd Schuster is a German former soccer player from the late 1970s to the early 1990s, who won club championships famously playing for the Spanish teams. He was deployed as a midfielder and was called "the Blond Angel". Apart from being a great player, he also managed a couple of European teams, notably Real Madrid.
Regarding the article, In autumn 1990, Schuster joined Atletico Madrid and enabled them to evolve the typical backpass-based strategies. His long, accurate passes contributed to reviving Atletico Madrid as a prestigious club and he is famous as one of the all-time best midfielders at Atletico Madrid.
He was also a member of the West German team that won Italy's 1980 UEFA European Football Championship, playing in two games for Germany.
His displays there enabled him to receive the honor of the Silver Ball Trophy as the second-best footballer in Europe in 1980, behind Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. A football controversy was triggered at the time by his refusal to play in a game over Albania to be home for the birth of his second son, David.
Due to his frequent conflicts with the German Football Association Schuster retired from the German national team at 24. Schuster capped 21 times for West Germany.
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Prior to moving to Europe, Simeone began his football with Velez Sarsfield. Ahead of moving to Atletico Madrid, he first represented Pisa and Sevilla. In 1995-1996, Diego won the Double with Atletico Madrid and is considered one of the all-time best midfielders at Atletico Madrid.
He then transferred to Inter Milan, wherein in 1998 he won the UEFA Cup. After joining Lazio in 1999 he won the double once again. He won 106 caps and netted 11 goals for Argentina. In 1991 and 1993, he won the Copa America. He took part in three finals of the WC; 1994, 1998, and 2002.
Simeone was known to be a fearless, flexible, tough, and complete player who was strong, great in the air, effective in breaking down the opposition play and beginning the offense, and also had a knack for himself to score some goals. During most of his career, he could play everywhere in midfield, however, he was generally used as a box-to-box and defensive midfielder.
The player also deployed sometimes in an offensive midfield position. He was best known for his charisma, tactical flexibility, maturity, courage, and toughness as a young yet aggressive footballer, even though he was also lauded by critics for his technique, awareness, and passing skills.
His stance was once characterized by someone as 'wielding a gun between his teeth.' Brazilian footballer Falcao and German legendary player Lothar Matthaus were his leading icons.
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Jorge Resurreccion Merodio is a 28-year-old Spanish soccer player who plays for Atletico Madrid as a midfielder. He is the only current player whose name is deservedly regarded as one of the best Atletico Madrid midfielders of all time.
Since playing his first match with the first team in 2009, Koke has spent the majority of his career with Atletico Madrid, participating in over 450 games and capturing the 2013-14 La Liga, two Europa League trophies, and two UEFA Super Cup titles. Koke was additionally a Champions League runner-up in 2014 and 2016. The player is the club's third-most appearance maker ever and one of the Atletico Madrid greatest midfielders ever.
With the Spanish under-21 side, Koke won the 2013 European Championship. The same year, he also capped for the full side and played for his nation at two World Cups and Euro 2016. The Spaniard is right-footed, yet he can play on both flanks or as a central midfielder. Apart from his versatility, Koke is also famous for his passing.
Koke won his peers' applause, including Xavi Hernandez, who treated him as his replacement, stating: "He's got it all, dribbling skills and technical abilities, he's a soccer player of the current and future. Over the next 10 years, he will be known as the conductor of Spain's orchestra. Since we play in the same place, I have a special affinity for him and I think he is an exceptional athlete."
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Between 2004 and 2007, Gabi played for Los Rojiblancos before joining Saragossa. He came back to Atletico Madrid in 2011, while Simeone's team was developing. First, he won the 2013 Copa del Rey and then the 2013-2014 league championship. He was the skipper of the team which reached the final of the Champions League two different times.
Known as Gabi, Gabriel Fernandez Arenas played as a defensive midfielder. He played 429 games and netted ten goals in La Liga, mainly in two spells at Atletico Madrid which were interspersed with a run at Zaragoza. He captured domestic and European silverware with Atletico Madrid and is known as one of the best Atletico Madrid midfielders of all time.
At the youth level, Gabi played for Spain national team as well. Famous for his defensive skills along with his stamina and work rate, Gabi could both stop opposition offense and equally dominate the game with the ball. He was also considered to be proficient in delivering through balls and pass the ball at both long and short ranges.
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Adelardo was with Atletico Madrid for 17 years and is undoubtedly considered as one of the best Atletico Madrid midfielders of all time. He made the club's appearance record. El Pupas won three La Liga trophies, five Copa del Reys, the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1962, and the Intercontinental Cup in 1974. Between 1962 and 1970, he capped 14 times for Spain. In 1962 and 1966, he went to the World Cup.
He was one of his generation's greatest midfielders. He possessed a vast array of skills, determination, and an eye for scoring. Adelardo Rodriguez played 550 official matches for Atletico Madrid and holds the record to this date in which where he netted 113 goals.
He represented Spain's national football team 14 times, netting 2 goals. He played in both the FIFA World Cups in 1962 and 1966. Regardless of short stature of 5'8, with his barilliant abilities and finishing, Adelardo Rodriguez scored lots of goals and provided many assits.