5 Classic Real Madrid-Atletico Madrid Derby Moments

Samuel Marsden@@samuelmarsdenFeatured ColumnistSeptember 11, 2014

5 Classic Real Madrid-Atletico Madrid Derby Moments

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    Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

    Derby matches between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have often been one-sided, but both sides of the divide have had their moments.

    This Saturday, the two meet in the Spanish league for the latest chapter in their rivalry.

    Diego Simeone has revitalised Atletico, and they are no longer cast in the underdog role which they have played for the majority of the 21st century—they've already beaten Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup this season.

    The following slides take a look at five classic matches from down the years.

Atletico Madrid's Mistake: Raul Gonzalez (1997)

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    DENIS DOYLE/Associated Press

    He must have had his motives, surely, but it is slightly mad to imagine Jesus Gil, all the way back in 1992, putting a sword through Atletico Madrid's youth setup as a cost-cutting measure. "It wasn't necessary" was the line of thinking; so a host of teenagers were cut loose...including Raul Gonzalez.

    Within five years, Raul, who is now remembered as a Real Madrid legend, was wreaking havoc against the side who had released him as a 14-year-old.

    Atletico Madrid were the double holders at the time, so perhaps Gil can claim there was some method to his madness, but they were about to begin a slippery slide towards Spanish football's second tier.

    During the 1996/97 season, it was Real and Barcelona who were battling for the title, and it looked like the Catalans would be left smiling in January '97 when Madrid found themselves a goal down and a man down against their neighbours.

    Step forward, Raul. The young striker scored a second-half double, with Clarence Seedorf adding a third, as Madrid kept their title charge on track at the Vicente Calderon. He was again on target when the two sides met at the Bernabeu later in the season, as Los Blancos pipped Barca to the title.

Luis Aragones' Copa del Rey Team Talk (1992)

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    Back when Johan Cruyff's Barcelona ruled in Spain and before Atletico had dipped their toes in La Segunda Division, the Madrid derby, like it is once again, was a slightly more even affair.

    Despite that, there was still an air of superiority about Real Madrid, as there perhaps always will be, so before the 1992 Copa del Rey final at the Bernabeu, then-Atleti boss Luis Aragones picked up a bottle and embarked on a bizarre motivational speech, per Jacob Steinberg of The Guardian:

    "See this bottle?" he asked his team. They saw the bottle. So he went on.

    "We're going to stick it up their arses!" he screamed. "Right the way up! "Forget tactics. It's Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. They've been sticking it up our arses for so long, now it's our chance to stick it up theirs!"

    And so his players did, indeed, proceed to stick the bottle up Madrid's arse.

    Bernd Schuster, who had been discarded by Real Madrid two seasons before, opened the scoring with a free-kick, before Paulo Futre wrapped up the win for Aragones' side.

    It completed a miserable season for Madrid, because over in Catalonia, Barca's Dream Team ended the campaign as champions of La Liga and, for the first time in their history, as the kings of Europe.

European Cup Play-off in Zaragoza (1959)

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    Before this year's Champions League final in Lisbon, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid had only met once in Europe's elite competition: the semi-final of the 1958/59 competition. Madrid had already won the first three editions of the European Cup, and they weren't about to let Atleti stop them from picking up a fourth.

    Atleti put up a good fight, though.

    Unable to be separated over two legs—Madrid won 2-1 at home, while Atletico won 1-0 in the return leg—the last four encounter was taken to a play-off in Zaragoza.

    Los Rojiblancos wouldn't have been in the competition if it wasn't for Real: They'd qualified for the competition as the holders, enabling their city rivals to enter as Spain's representatives, courtesy of their second-place finish the previous season.

    Real Madrid were European and Spanish champions for a reason, and even though it went to a play-off, a side featuring the likes of Alfredo Di Stefano, Raymond Kopa and Ferenc Puskas was always likely to prevail. And so it did.

    Di Stefano scored the opening goal at La Romareda, with Enrique Collar quickly equalising for Atletico. However, Puskas had the final say, and Madrid went on to beat Stade Reims in the final.

Atletico's Copa Success at the Bernabeu (2013)

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    Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

    When Atletico Madrid met Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final at the Bernabeu in 2013, it had been 14 years and 23 matches since they had last beaten their fellow city-dwellers. Fernando Morientes had given Los Blancos the lead on that occasion, but a brace from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and a Jose Mari goal helped Atleti to a 3-1 win.

    As the years went by and the defeats racked up, that 1999 win became a more prominent feature in every Madrid derby match preview—until 2013.

    It seemed like it would be a normal night's business when Cristiano Ronaldo put Jose Mourinho's Madrid ahead, but this was a different Atletico; this was Diego Simeone's Atletico. They'd won the Europa League in the previous campaign, and they'd taken Chelsea apart in the ensuing UEFA Super Cup.

    They were more than prepared for Madrid in a cup final, and they were ready to end the jinx.

    Diego Costa levelled the score before half-time, but neither side could find a winner, so the match went to an action-packed period of extra time.

    During the added 30 minutes, Brazilian defender Miranda headed home to give Atleti the Copa del Rey, while Ronaldo, with his side's chances running out, was handed a red card to cap a fine evening for the red and white half of Spain's capital city.

Ramos' Injury-Time Champions League Header (2014)

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    Gabriel Pecot/Associated Press

    Never before had two teams from the same city met in the final of the Champions League. There had been meetings between clubs from Milan, London and Madrid in the earlier rounds but never in the final. So when Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid progressed to the Lisbon showpiece earlier this year, history was written.

    The script was intriguing, too. For more than a decade, Los Blancos had been chasing the fabled La Decima—their 10th European Cup—and now their only hurdle was Simeone's Atletico side. They couldn't stop them, could they?

    For more than 90 minutes, it looked like they could and would. Uruguayan defender Diego Godin, whose header had helped his side win the league the previous week, headed Los Rojiblancos into a first-half lead, and his goal was still the difference when the board went up for stoppage time.

    However, there was to be a twist, and with one of the final actions of the game, Madrid's Sergio Ramos headed the final into extra time.

    With the Spanish defender's goal, you felt all of the energy leak out of the Atletico players as a season of extraordinary exertions seemed to catch up with them. By the time Gareth Bale put Madrid ahead in extra time, there was no way back for Atleti.

    Marcelo and Ronaldo struck thereafter, as Madrid wrapped up a 4-1 win and sealed La Decima.


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