Welcome back guys; It’s Episode #2 of the Jersey Gallery! I hope you enjoyed the debut episode of this new series, alas, that was then, and this is now so with no further ado; your latest episode brings under the spotlight the 2010-11 Atletico Madrid home shirt! Well before I became the fully fledged ‘Colchonero’ that I am now, I was instantly enamoured with their brilliant home shirt that was released ahead of the new decade!
THE STORY OF THE SEASON:
It was August of 2010; Atletico de Madrid would be preparing for their UEFA Super Cup showdown against Inter Milan; a right they earnt that, by winning the first ever edition of the UEFA Europa League in 2010. That win would gloss over what was a disappointing season for the ‘Rojiblancos’ given that they finished 9th place and lost out in the Copa del Rey final to Sevilla. Quique Sanchez Flores would remain in charge of the club, having taken over in October 2009, and arriving in the summer of 2010 would be a series of men who would eventually go down as club legends: Felipe Luis, Diego Godin, Diego Costa (signed for a second time), while Koke was promoted from the youth side, and then Juanfran would be signed in January 2011. These acquisitions would join an already talent rich squad that featured: David De Gea, Tiago Mendes, Diego Forlan, Raul Garcia, Sergio Aguero, Tomas Ujfalusi, Jose Antonio Reyes, Simao and Luis Perea. Interestingly, this would be the final season that: Forlan, Aguero, Simao, Ujfalusi, and De Gea featured for the club…
Atletico Madrid would successfully see off the 2010 UEFA Champions League winners: Inter Milan, seeing off the Italian champions 2-0 at the Stade Louis II, with goals coming from Aguero, and Reyes! 3 days later, they would kick their La Liga campaign off at home to Sporting Gijon with a fine 4-0 win, before securing a 2-1 win away from home against Athletic Bilbao when La Liga returned on September 11th. That win would see them end the 2nd round of play in joint top, however with the visit of Barcelona coming next, we would see real test of Atleti’s early season credentials. On February 14th that year; Atletico Madrid would inflict the only defeat of Barcelona’s 2009-10 La Liga campaign with a 2-1 win; on September 19th, Barca’ would extract their revenge by the same score-line. That defeat would set the tone for the type of spells of inconsistency that would bog down Atletico in the pre-Simeone era, with Aris stunning them in their opening match of their Europa League defence, before dropping 2 points away to Valencia in their next La Liga outing. Between the period of September 26th to November 7th; the club would win just 3 times in their 8 games played, with notable defeats coming against: Sevilla, Villarreal, and Real Madrid in the Madrid Derby on November 7th. After 10 games of the La Liga season, Atletico Madrid would be in 10th place with 14 points, and despite their impressive firing line; last season’s Pichichi winner: Diego Forlan had only 3 goals in the league, and hadn’t scored in the league since September 11th, while Diego Costa had 3 of his own, and Aguero had only just opened his account on October 31st!
Their league form would pick up significantly heading into the New Year, with Atleti winning 4 out of their 6 games that led into the winter break, and along with the points, came the goals from their hitmen; with Forlan adding another 3 strikes, while Aguero really kicked into gear with 6 of his own! Despite the upturn in league fortune, the club would embarrassingly crash out of the Europa League group stage, after failing to defeat Bayer Leverkusen and Aris in their final 2 games. In spite of that disappointment, Atletico ended 2010 in 7th place, however with 26 points on the board; they were just 2 points shy of 4th place Valencia, while a 2nd Leg of the Copa del Rey against Espanyol awaited, with the club leading 1-0 from the 1st Leg.
2010 would see the departure of Simao, as he moved to Besiktas ahead of 2011, and following in his place of vice-captain would be the red-hot Sergio Aguero. The first quarter of 2011 would be particularly dastardly for the club as personified by their record of 3 wins, 5 draws, and 8 losses from their 16 games played between January 3rd and their March 29th defeat at home to Real Madrid in the derby, if that wasn’t bad enough; two more of those defeats would be inflicted by Real Madrid in both legs of the Copa del Rey quarter final. Jose Reyes would enjoy a purple patch during that spell, netting 5 times, while Sergio Aguero would maintain his scoring touch with another 6 strikes of his own. That terrible run of form would leave Qique Sanchez Flores’ side in 8th place with 39 points, and were closer to the relegation zone than they were to the top 4 in terms of points differentiation with 9 games of the campaign to play…
It should be noted that prior to the La Liga defeat at the Vicente Calderon to Real Madrid on March 19th, the team had put together a 5 match unbeaten run in the league; even if it was comprised of 2 wins that were sandwiched between 3 draws. Their form post the derby defeat however, would show that the draws were more of an aberration, with a dramatic 3-2 win away to Osasuna, that saw Diego Costa score a fine hat-trick, would set the stage for the back to back league wins for the first time since December, as they beat Real Sociedad 3-0 in their following game. A draw away to Espanyol would be sandwiched between 2 additional victories; a run of 4 games that saw Aguero score 5 times! Between March 5th to April 30th; he had scored 9 times across 8 games! Their impressive spring form had ‘Los Colchoneros’ back up to 7th, and within 2 points of a Europa League spot.
Back to back defeats would derail the momentum generated over April, and crucially, left a 5th place no longer entirely in their own hands. Following their round 37 win over Hercules, they along with Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla would enter the final round of play of the season on 55 points apiece! Atleti would defeat Mallorca 4-3 in a thrilling contest, however, wins for Sevilla and Bilbao would mean that Atletico would have to settle for 7th place. The man of the match would be Sergio Aguero, who scored a fine hat-trick, with what was his final game for the club. Unsurprisingly, he would depart the club after his relationship with the club soured, despite a magnificent 20 goal haul in La Liga; with Manchester City securing his services for £35 million.
MY MEMORIES OF THE SHIRT:
Atletico Madrid had always been a club that I couldn’t explain why I held a soft spot for, growing up, I hate to admit, however I alternated support between Barcelona and Real Madrid; Real especially between the ages of 10 – 13, while Barcelona really captivated me (and still do, just for the record) thereafter. Atleti were always a club you just remembered, especially if you enjoyed Championship Manager back in the day like I did, and then as time progressed they always had a great player or 2 who was always linked with one of the big clubs, while never really coming too close the duopoly of Spain, or even the major pretenders such as Valencia, Sevilla, or even Villarreal at the end of the noughties. It was their 2010 run to the Europa League final that I began to start paying special attention to them however, especially as they eliminated Liverpool in the semi-final to set up a final against Fulham. They would of course defeat Roy Hodgson’s side, and that is where the story for this shirt, and memory of it begins essentially.
I vaguely remember that my first time seeing the shirt was during their match-day 3 encounter with Barcelona, and that I’m sure was more to do with the commentators raving about the potential of a certain guy called David De Gea. I do recall always marvelling at the kit used that season; firstly, the shirt was pre-eminently white, equipped with a large white collar; the red stripes although somewhat minimalist, were applied brilliantly, and then the shorts and socks were both an azure blue as the primary colour, rather than the usual royal blue and red. It was in seeing that game where I had dreamt of having one of these shirts in my own collection, it didn’t even matter that I didn’t support the club, I just wanted the shirt!
For the PES lovers, another reason the shirt stood out in my mind was that PES 2011 was the first season that Konami obtained the UEFA licences to have the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, and UEFA Super Cup available to play in the game. Naturally, they would ham this up, and if you left the game running on its default menu; the demo mode would be of the Super Cup, and quite frankly, to see that level of official licencing and detail was nothing short of majestic!
I was fortunate enough to get this shirt, albeit in size medium (I’m a small), however, in spite of its size, I absolutely love the fit! The baggier fit is a joy on the arms, while providing a roomy, yet comfortable fit across the body! Made in the first iteration of the new Nike Dri-Fit range; this shirt in my opinion is one of the standout shirts of the 2010-11 season, and of the best ever Atletico Madrid shirts ever made!
You can get the 2010-11 Atletico Madrid Home Shirt in Size Medium for just £32.99!
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