2003-04 Atletico Madrid Home Shirt Size Large - F. Torres #9
Team: Atletico Madrid
Era: 2003-04 (Used for the 2003-04 La Liga season)
This classic shirt comes to you in excellent condition! You will be hard pressed to find a better version of this shirt on sale anywhere! The material shows very little wear, and the applications are in immaculate shape also.
Pit to Pit Measurement: 21 inches
Shirt Length: 31 inches
Made in Nike’s ‘Dri-Fit’ range they used during the 2003-04 season; this shirt as per the sizing of the early 2000’s, is likely better suited to the size above, so in this instance, a size extra large.
With Atletico Madrid celebrating their centenary year in 2003; the club used 3 shirts between the 2002-04 season’s, with the centenary shirt being used across both campaigns; this shirt was the one made specifically for the 2003-04 season. While the 2002-03 and centenary shirts reflected the ‘rojiblancos’ moniker of the team in terms of a very even split between red and white; the 2003-04 edition used Nike’s template allowed the darker, blood-red colour to be used devastating effect; taking big space created by the large hem, the collar and the underarms! Nike must be commended for creating 2 excellent shirts that are both entirely different: one representing the history and legacy of this proud club, and the other shining the light ahead for its incredible future! This version is without any of the movie sponsorships that this period of the club’s history became synonymous with.
The 2002-03 season represented a fine return to the Spanish top-flight after 2 seasons in the 2nd tier. Club legend Luis Aragones would guide ‘Los Colchoneros’ to a 12th place finish, and perhaps more importantly, teenage prodigy Fernando Torres would score 13 times in the league in what his maiden season against the country’s elite club’s. Aragones would call time on his 7th stint at the club’s helm at the end of the 2002-03 campaign and Gregorio Manzano was drafted in from Mallorca after he guided them to Copa del Rey glory.
There would be a series of in’s and out’s on the field too as Demetrio Albertini returned to Italy after his excellent sole season in Madrid, meanwhile: Luis Garcia departed for Barcelona and Jose Marie and Fabricio Coloccini both moved on to Villarreal. Javi Moreno, Jovan Stankovic, Txomin Nagore and Emerson also moved on. Diego Simeone would return to the club 6 years after his first stint with the club, and the likes of: Ruben Olivera, Ariel Ibagaza, Diego Rivas, Kiki Musampa.
The new season began with a 1-0 defeat away to Sevilla on August 31st, and a very difficult start to the La Liga calendar saw them have games with Valencia, Barcelona and Deportivo La Coruna to navigate within the opening 6 rounds of the season, and while they would be beaten by Depor and Valencia, they would hold Barcelona to a 0-0 draw at the Vicente Calderonon September 28th.
Following that murderer’s row of games, Atleti began to click into gear under Manzano; beating: Mallorca, Real Murcia, Real Sociedad, Real Betis and Villarreal all in succession! Fernando Torres would score 7 goals across each of the first four of those games! That incredible spree lifted them to 5th place in the table, before they were beaten 3-1 by Real Valladolid on November 23rd.
Ahead of the Madrid Derby the Santiago Bernabeu on December 3rd, just 4 points sepearted the city rivals, however, the defending La Liga champions would seal a 2-0 win to move to the top of the table.
Unperturbed, Atletico would go unbeaten in their next 9 La Liga outings, even if 5 of those games were draws, ‘Los Colchoneros’ exceptional victories over: Espanyol, Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla. The culmination of this fine run saw them end January 2004 in 4th place ahead of Barcelona by 2 points. Their next 2 outings would be against league leaders Valencia and a surging Barcelona, and both games would end in defeat, resulting in Atleti slipping into 7th place.
The team’s form would become very erratic and struggling for consistency; while there were wins over the likes of Mallorca, Betis and Valladolid, they would be offset by defeats to Sociedad and Malaga ahead of Real Madrid’s visit to the Vicente Calderon on April 17th on Match-Day 33. Real Madrid would prevail 2-1, and then a follow up defeat to Espanyol would keep them in 7th place in what had become an incredible race for the UEFA Cup slots.
Despite beating Celta Vigo 3-2 and then beating Bilbao 4-3 in a classic match at San Mames on the final day of the season; Atletico Madrid would miss out on an automatic UEFA Cup slot as they finished behind Sevilla due to Sevilla’s superior head to head goal difference over their 2 meetings. By most accounts, this would have been classified as an incredible season for a team just 2 years removed from playing in the Segunda Division, however, the notoriously trigger happy Gil, and as a result, Gregorio Manzano was dismissed from his post as manager! Along the way, Atletico would also reach the quarter final of the Copa del Rey, and Fernando Torres would finish with 19 league goals!
The notable players that season were:
Fernando Torres, Veljko Paunovic, Demis Nikolaidis, Arizmendi, Toche Ruben Olivera, Rodrigo Fabri, Kiki Musampa, Diego Rivas, Juanma Ortiz, Gabi, Ariel Ibagaza, Diego Simeone, Gonzalo de los Santos, Ivan Romero, Gaspar Galvez, Matias Lequi,, Santi, Sergi, Cosmin Contra, Germán Burgos
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