It’s 2013 all over again at Atletico Madrid. They have a scorned former Barcelona forward in their ranks out to make Barca sorry they ever got rid of him.
Their manager is repeating the ‘one game at a time’ mantra every time he is asked about the team’s title chances; and everyone is beginning to suspect they can topple Real Madrid and Barcelona.
For David Villa read Luis Suarez. Just as Villa left Barcelona for Atletico in 2013 so Suarez has made the same journey seven years later.
The big difference is that Villa left, in part, because there was a lack of chemistry between him and Lionel Messi. Suarez was told to pack his bags against Messi’s best wishes but for Atletico it’s all the same – just as back in 2013 they have gained a goal machine of the highest pedigree. He already has five for the season.
But this title charge is not reliant on one man, far from it. Joao Felix, Yannick Carrasco, Marcos Llorente and Koke are all added reasons why this could be Atletico’s year.
With seven goals so far this season Felix is well on course to eclipse last year’s underwhelming first season at the club and he looks a completely different player alongside Suarez.
Gone is the sulking teenager who seemed to be deliberately turning a deaf ear to Diego Simeone’s instructions telling him to move wide in a game against Granada last season.