The Athletic Club de Madrid was founded by three Basque students back in 1903. In 1939, the club merged with a Zaragoza club and was called Athletic Aviación de Madrid. Finally in 1947, the name was changed to the present one: Atlético de Madrid. The team players wear the club's colours: A red and white shirt with blue shorts.
During the first few decades, Atletico Madrid played primarily at a local level. Then in the 1920s, it was invited to join La Liga, Spain's first division. Until the end of the 1930s, they went back to the second division a few times. Atletico merged with Aviación Nacional in 1939 and won La Liga for the first time in 1940.
During the 1950s, the club won two La Liga titles. The rivalry between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid dominated the following two decades. Atletico won 4 La Liga titles, five Copa del Rey and one European Cup Winner's Cup between 1960 and 1977.
The rise to prominence came when Jesús Gil was appointed as club president in 1987. The new president spent plenty of money on prominent players. Two Copa del Rey trophies and 1 La Liga title later, Gil was fired due to financial issues. Since 2011, Diego Simeone has been managing the club and Atletico won a Europa League title (2012), a Copa del Rey (2013) and La Liga (2014). Atletico Madrid has never won a Champions League trophy.
Atletico Madrid owes its success mostly to its players. Some of the most well-known ones are: Luis Aragonés, Joaquín Peiró, José Eulogio Gárate, Tomás Reñones, Hugo Sánchez, Maxi Rodríguez, Sergio Agüero, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa, Diego Godín, Raúl García, Gabi and Antoine Griezmann.
Some names distinguished themselves more than others. For instance, one player took part in a total of 551 matches, thus holding the club record: Adelardo Rodriguez. He wore the Atletico shirt from 1959 to 1976. Another prominent player is Fernando Torres, with 182 matches. When he was sold to Liverpool in 2007 for around 20 million pounds, Atletico used the money to buy other prominent players like: Diego Forlán, Luis García, Simão and Reyes.
In June 2017, Forbes estimated the team value of Atletico de Madrid at 675 million euros. For the 2015/16 season, Deloitte's annual report stated that Atletico's revenue was 228.6 million euros. This placed the Spanish team in the 13th position in Europe.
The final figures for 2016/17 have not been revealed yet, but the future looks bright for Atletico. Only for broadcasting, it is estimated that the team earned about 161 million euros in revenues for that period and some 41 million euros per match day.
Not only celebrities such as Joaquín Sabina, Will Smith, Javier Bardem and Harrison Ford are fans of Atletico Madrid. The official fan club site of Atletico Madrid boasts that now 120,000 members are part of the "athletic" family (56,361 subscribers and 63,639 non-subscribers). The football club is the third most popular one in Spain after Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Atletico Madrid is extremely present in social media. The team's Facebook page has 13 million fans. Atletico de Madrid has three official Twitter accounts: One in Spanish, one in English and one in French. It is not surprising that the first one has almost 4 million followers and the other two total about 350,000 followers.
One of the first homes of Atletico de Madrid was Ronda de Vallecas. Then the club moved to the Estadio Metropolitano when its construction was completed in 1923. From 1966 to 2017, Atletico Madrid played their home games at the Estadio Vicente Calderón which is located in the southern part of Madrid.
Nowadays, the club plays in the Wanda Metropolitano. This stadium used to have a capacity of only 20,000 seats, but it was expanded to 68,000 when Madrid tried (and failed) to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.