Atletico Madrid - ascetic champion in La Liga 2Atletico Madrid - ascetic champion in La Liga 2

`We are Atletico. If we don’t endure hardship, we are not ourselves,` midfielder Koke said after Atletico won 2-1 against Real Sociedad in round 36, a pivotal victory for the championship.

After Real was held to a 2-2 draw by Sevilla and Barca also drew 3-3 with Levante, the opportunity fell into the hands of Diego Simeone and his team.

Simeone teachers and students took a group photo after defeating Valladolid to win La Liga.

That scenario has repeated itself this season as if part of Atletico’s tantalizing personality.

Atletico’s playing style seemed to reach a new level, as Simeone diversified his approach.

All problems seem to be solved when the injury decline of Saul Niguez, Jose Maria Gimenez and the instability of Marcos Llorente, Kieran Trippier are offset by the new discovery Hermoso, and a familiar warrior: Yannick Carrasco.

But even after leaving 13 points behind the chasing team, Atletico is still not used to leading position.

The fear returned.

Simeone repeated the message: `Real and Barca will not lose a single match from now until the end of the season. We have two monsters behind us.`

For many other teams, losing a big advantage in the championship race like the way Atletico faltered in the second phase of this season is worth throwing away, and many teams will not survive.

After the defeat against Bilbao, Atletico lost the right to self-determination.

Atletico Madrid - ascetic champion in La Liga

The players criticized coach Simeone after winning the championship.

But this is when history speaks.

When visiting Barca in early May, Atletico was only two points ahead of their opponent and Real.

Simeone still deflected when asked about Atletico’s championship chances, trying to show his vivacity when directing to instill confidence in his students.

After winning a breathtaking victory over Sociedad, while Real and Barca both lost points, hundreds of Atletico fans gathered outside the parking lot, shouting: `We love you, Atleti, Ole Ole Ole, Cholo Simeone`.

At the same time, Nacho helped Real advance at San Mames, and Osasuna striker Budimir scored against Oblak.

Things looked desperate when Simeone replaced Llorente and Correa – the duo with a recent goal scoring streak – with Felix and reserve left-back Lodi, who was almost forgotten.

Atletico’s season seemed to repeat itself in those few minutes: Stormy start, unable to finish off opponents, reeling, calming down, and then back to the top.

When trailing 0-1 in the first half, Simeone shouted a single simple message over and over again: `Calm down. Will score soon.`

Yesterday’s win against Valladolid also followed a similar scenario.

Simeone did not falter.

And they were crowned.

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By Jackson

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