Atletico Madrid will win the La Liga title for the first time in nearly seven years, with a triumph in their final league encounter against Real Valladolid on Saturday.
Jamshedpur FC midfielder Aitor Monroy is a fan-favourite, having developed a glorious reputation on the back of excellent performances. While Monroy’s prime focus is on maintaining optimum fitness with an eye on the upcoming ISL campaign, he is also closely tracking Atletico Madrid’s performances in the La Liga. The 33-year-old was a part of the Spanish club’s setup for two years from 2007 to 2009, developing a beautiful relationship. Atletico will win the La Liga title for the first time in nearly seven years, with a triumph in their final league encounter against Real Valladolid on Saturday. Anything short of that followed by a win for Real Madrid will see their arch-rivals emerging victorious due to a superior head-to-head record.
Monroy is as eager as the fans themselves to witness the end of an agonising league run, with Atletico last winning the La Liga title in 2014. However, the Spanish midfielder backs them to get the job done and dusted, citing their “discipline” as a major factor.
“It is so difficult to beat Atletico Madrid. They are always compact, leaving the opposition in a state of uncertainty. Another aspect is their excellent defence. As the saying goes, if you don’t concede a goal, you always have a better chance to win. Atletico has certainly ensured the same taking into account the fact that they have conceded the least number of goals in the La Liga this season. The players are extremely disciplined and understand their roles beautifully,” he says in an exclusive chat to sportslumo.com.
Monroy believes that the level of consistency and maturity on show by the footballers, would not have been possible without Diego Simeone. The midfielder terms the Argentinian as a juggernaut that keeps on surging despite setbacks.
“Atletico Madrid have been very successful under the managerial tenure of Simeone, despite losing key performers like Antoine Griezmann in the past. A major factor behind this is his ability to inspire belief in the minds of the players. The squad mentality and morale does not get hampered by the loss of star performers, as they have optimum faith in the gaffer’s decision making. The same is evident from the manner in which he has inspired Luis Suarez to deliver such incredible performances this season, having been written off. Simeone invested faith in Suarez, utilising his talent at maximum capacity without any unnecessary pressure.”
Monroy credits the Atletico Madrid structure for this level of excellence in the game, highlighting the “great platform” it provides for youngsters to showcase their talent.
“The club lives and breathes football, with the scouting and coaching of top quality. The coaches not only teach you about the game but also provide some very important lessons about life. Having an opportunity to develop as a player under the right coach is vital for a footballer’s development. Atletico further boast of some excellent facilities, providing the perfect platform for hundreds of youngsters to showcase their talent. I see the club surging to impressive levels of success in the coming years.”