Vicente Calderon
Atletico Madrid ended life at the Vicente Calderon with a 3-1 win over Athletic Club Bilbao on Sunday 21 May. g


  • Diego Simeone needs to sign a proven top scorer to keep fighting with Real Madrid and Barcelona.
  • Atletico are still missing Diego Costa three years after his move to Chelsea.
  • Antoine Griezmann's potential exit to Manchester United could also be deadly if their ban is not lifted.

Putting the history of the Vicente Calderon behind them will be a difficult challenge for Atletico Madrid but their current Fifa transfer embargo is what really holds the key of their future. Diego Simeone's continuity is a blessing but being able to sign new players will determine if this is the end of an era or if the Colchoneros can still fight with Real Madrid and Barcelona for the crown of Spain.

The Calderon is and will forever be special. It is not as big as the Camp Nou or as comfortable as the Santiago Bernabeu. However, it has a personal aura that only the ones who have been lucky enough to see a live game in the stands can understand.

Atletico will need some time to recover from the disappearance of their home but they have two reasons to think that the time of mourning will be short. His supporters will follow them to the Wanda Metropolitano, and Simeone has already confirmed he will continue next season to make the transition smooth.

Many Atletico fans feared that the end of the world had arrived after the 3-0 defeat against Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League. The reverse fixture at the Calderon did not serve to avoid elimination but instead gave Simeone a push to keep believing that the side and players had not had their last word.

Yet, it also proved that the Argentine boss can't achieve more than what he has this season with so little resource. His current side have already touched the ceiling and the move to the new stadium should be seen as opportunity to begin a new successful era rather than the end of another.

Antoine Griezmann
Griezmann has already admitted that he could move to Manchester United in the summer. Getty

The new Wanda Metropolitano will be at the level of the best stadium around Europe and the club must ensure that the squad also match expectations - if their current transfer embargo is lifted.

Atletico still have top players to lead the new project in Diego Godin Jan Oblak, Filipe Luis, Yannick Carrasco, Jose Maria Gimenez, Koke and Saul Niguez. Yet, the rest of the squad needs a big reshape.

Gabi, Tiago and Juanfran have been crucial in recent years but their best days are already a thing of the past. Fernando Torres can play a key role in the dressing room but his numbers in front of the goal suggest that the former Liverpool star can't be the number nine of a team that aims for the top.

Signing a proven top scorer will therefore mark the future of Atletico much more than the goodbye to the Vicente Calderon.

Keeping Griezmann away from a €100m (£86.3m, $112.3m) move to Manchester United would be important, but signing world class striker is even more so.

The Frenchman is arguably the best player that the Calderon has seen in recent years, but the reality is that Atletico have not won any titles since his arrival. However, Sergio Agüero (Europa League), Radamel Falcao (Europa League and Copa del Rey 2012-2013), and current Chelsea star Diego Costa (Copa del Rey and La Liga) led the Colchoneros to silverware during their time at Atletico.

Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa (L) and Barcelona's Jordi Alba fight for the ball during their Spanish first division soccer match at Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid January 11, 2014.
Atletico Madrid are yet to win a title since Diego Costa left the club to join Chelsea. Reuters

Mario Mandzukic, Jackson Martinez, Luciano Vietto, Kevin Gameiro and Torres himself have failed to fill the huge gap left by the current Chelsea top scorer since he left the club in the summer of 2014. They all are good but Atletico need to take another step if they want to compete against the famous BBC and MSN of Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Goals mark the difference between winning titles and being second, and Atletico cannot afford another failure following the unsuccessful gambles with Gameiro and co.

A look back at December 2011 serves as a reminder that Simeone took over Atletico only four points above the relegation. Looking at the La Liga title won in 2013-2014 suggests that gambling again for a top striker like Costa – regardless his cost and what happens with Griezmann – should be the target for the summer.

This year will be remembered as the farewell to the Vicente Calderon, but another season like the current one could also mean goodbye to Simeone next year - and consequently feared end of an era for Atletico Madrid fans. Fifa have the last word but now it looks that is the moment of breaking the bank for a new Costa – or even Costa himself – or ending in sporting bankruptcy.