Kerstin Joensson/Associated Press
Last season was one of the best in the history of Atletico Madrid. After 18 years of waiting, a brilliant team led by Diego Simeone outplayed such giants as Barcelona and Real Madrid and brought a Spanish title to the Vincente Calderon Stadium.
To prove that this was not just a coincidence, Atletico beat all the odds by reaching the final in the most prestigious club football competition.
However, as smooth as things were for Atletico last season, Real Madrid still managed to overshadow them with their victory over Los Rojiblancos in the Champions League final.
Atletico traditionally have a problem in El Derbi madrileno. Things have improved in the last two years, but apart from the first clash of the season, when Atletico defeated Real at the Santiago Bernabeu 1-0 back in September 2013, Simeone's team struggled against their biggest rival.
In two Copa del Rey encounters, played in February, Real Madrid easily won—scoring five goals and conceding none. In the league match at the Calderon, the final score was 2-2, while in the Champions League final, Real won 4-1 after extra time.
The new domestic season for both Madrid teams will start with an encounter in the Supercopa de Espana, and this is a great chance for Mario Mandzukic to establish himself as the hero for the Rojiblanco half of Madrid.
Two matches will not just decide the winner of the trophy but—at least for some time—the ruler of the city of Madrid. For Mandzukic, this will be his competitive debut for Atletico, and scoring against the archenemy would be a huge boost for the rest of his Atletico career.