With two of the best teams in Spanish and European football history based in Madrid, the rivalry between the capital city is exciting and fascinating.
Lots of history…but here are five things you might not know about the match.
1. Atlético was formed in response to Real Madrid
A group of Basque students living in Madrid attended the first King’s Cup final in 1903 between FC Bilbao and Club de Madrid, the team that would later become Real Madrid.
They did not like the way Madrid played and after 18 days they created a subsidiary of Madrid-based Athletic… which later became Atlético de Madrid.
2. Atlético have gone 14 years without winning a derby, but it’s a completely different story now
Between 1999 and 2013, Atlético Madrid suffered a derby hell. They had not won 25 meetings with Real Madrid, until the arrival of Diego Simeone ultimately changed their fortunes.
Since the rojiblancos’ victory, the balance of the derby has changed; They have won 9 of the 31 derbies played since then, while also drawing 11 and losing 11 (all competitions). The LaLiga Santander record is 4 wins and 4 defeats in 16 derbies.
3. Atlético fans started the tradition of partying at the Cibeles Fountain, not at Real Madrid!
During the 1970s, the tradition of celebrating titles with fellow fans of your team at certain points in the city began to emerge in Spanish football.
The Cibeles Fountain, located in the heart of Madrid, has emerged as the perfect meeting point for these fans, and although it is closely associated with Real Madrid today, it was the Atleti fans who began holding their celebrations there, after winning the LaLiga title in 1977.
Over time, other fans started imitating it and it became the meeting point for fans in town to win the title; Throughout the 80s, Real Madrid fans celebrated the victories of the famous Gil Quinta del Buitre there.
By the time Atletico won another title in 1991 – the Copa del Rey – Sibeles had become so closely associated with Real Madrid that their fans decided to move their celebrations 600 meters down Paseo de la Castellana in the city to the Neptune Fountain.
4. This was a bigger fixture than ElClasico
Real Madrid’s arch-rival today is FC Barcelona, but the Madrid derby was a bigger deal in the first two decades after the Spanish Civil War ended in 1939.
As the great Alfredo Di Stefano once said: “Forget Barcelona…the team that can frustrate us is Atlético.”
5. Nine wins in the Copa del Rey Atletico at the Bernabéu
The Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Real Madrid is a very special place for Atletico Madrid fans.
Los Colchoneros have won the Copa del Rey on 10 occasions, with nine of those impressive successes being at the court of their arch-rivals.
Of the 10 victories in the Cup final, only the 1996 victory against Barcelona was held on a different ground: La Romareda of Real Zaragoza.