Spain: The Stories Behind The Shirts - 2013/14 Atlético Madrid
“Juanfran is going to take the throw-in. He throws it back to Miranda. Miranda hits the ball long. Look at the clock! This is going to come to an end! That’s it, league champions!”
That moment of commentary is the audio in the memories of Atlético Madrid fans when they reminisce about their shock 2013-14 LaLiga title, while the yellow away shirt from that season is the visual that accompanies it. As Los Rojiblancos drew 1-1 at the Camp Nou on May 17th 2014 to become the first club in 10 years not named Barcelona or Real Madrid to win the title, they weren’t wearing their famous red-and-white stripes. It was their alternative colours, colours that have now found a special corner in the red-and-white hearts of Atleti fans worldwide.
Those colours are remembered by Barça fans also. They saw a rival team come into their stadium and deny them a league title on the final day of the season, yet they appreciated the achievement of Diego Simeone’s men so much that there was a standing ovation from the Catalan crowd for the warriors in yellow.
All of the praise that went the way of this team was justified. This wasn’t David beating Goliath. This was David beating two Goliaths. Barcelona and Real Madrid had passed the championship between them for the previous nine years. Barcelona had won it the year before with 100 points, while Real Madrid had done likewise one season before that. It had been five years since any other team had even come within 20 points of the champions. Yet here were little Atleti, muscling in on the party thanks to Diego Godín’s famous headed equaliser in the second half.
Perhaps there had been divine intervention, as one Atleti fan had been pictured praying at her local church at half-time while wearing her shirt. If God really was supporting the team from the capital that day, then it’s obvious that the replica shirt he’d have bought would be the away one. Because of this final-day result, this became the kit most associated with that 2013/14 season.
It was a perfect shade of yellow, not too luminous and not too hot-dog-mustardy either. Flanked by sides and sleeves of navy blue, there haven’t been many shirts at all that are like it. Atleti have had a few yellow away shirts, also sporting that colour in 2003/04 or 2017/18, but there’s one that sticks out in the memory. It’s the one with “Azerbaijan: Land of Fire” across the chest. It’s the one with players like David Villa, Diego Godín, Diego Costa, Gabi, Juanfran or Filipe Luís on the back. It’s the one that conquered the Camp Nou. It’s the one that broke a duopoly.
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You can also check out all of the shirts in this series, on the CFS website: http://www.classicfootballshirts.co.uk