This week at ProSoccerTalk we will be asking some burning questions we have when it comes to the beautiful game and the next one focuses on something we all have: a team we like that we don’t want to admit.
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Each day we will release a burning question, as now seems like a good time to take stock of where the game is at and take a look at what we love and what we’d like to change as we await its return following the suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Next question: Who is your guilty pleasure team?
Think about it. You don’t have to admit it out loud if you don’t want to. We all have one. Admit it.
There’s a team out there you have dismissed to your friends, family and maybe random strangers on social media but secretly, when nobody else is with you, you watch them play and admire them.
That said team are your guilty pleasure.
It’s okay to admit it. Honest. There will be no judgement here because we are all in the same boat.
It can be a team from the same league as your team, or a club from another league in another country, or just, you know, a team that people aside from you despise.
A lot of the big boys bring up polarizing views as many neutrals loath mega clubs who win trophies season after season and scoff at their huge wage bill, well-manicured stadiums and incredible commercial success. ‘This isn’t proper football’ you often cry. Deep down, you admire some of those teams, don’t you?
It would be remiss of me to ask you to reveal your guilty pleasure team in the comments below our via our social media post on Twitter without revealing my own so here it goes.
For years I’ve been an admirer of Atletico, way back when Diego Simeone was a player for them in midfield and they won the 1995-96 La Liga title with a huge ‘MARBELLA’ sponsor logo on their baggy shirts, as they also won the Copa del Rey that season to bring utter delight to the Vicente Calderon stadium after a 19-year wait for the league title.
A lot has changed since then and Atleti have become a polarizing team for becoming the ultimate masters of the dark arts with a squad of players who are perfectly happy with putting all of their personal talent to one side to play as a destructive, defensive, winning team.
Simeone’s antics may not be the prettiest (the vision of one of his crotch-pulsing celebrations are now etched into your head forever) and he may tell his players to stretch the rules as far as they possibly can on the field, but I respect the hustle. Simeone has always been this way, from his reaction to David Beckham’s kick in the 1998 World Cup in his playing days to his cojones celebration, he has pushed the boundaries. After being forced to rebuild his team almost on a yearly basis since he took charge in 2011 as he’s lost star after star (Aguero, Costa, Falcao and Griezmann to name a few), he forces his players into punishing hill runs each summer and expects nothing but 100 percent effort each and every time they step on the pitch.
It was recently revealed El Cholo was the highest-paid manager in the world and you can’t argue that he doesn’t deserve it.
I respect that somehow Atletico have now become competitive amid the utter dominance of Real Madrid and Barcelona in Spanish soccer for pretty much the last six decades. Since he took charge they have won three Europa League titles, the La Liga title in 2014 and reached two UEFA Champions League finals (losing both to Real in 2014 and 2016) as well as ousting defending champs Liverpool in the UCL in dramatic fashion to reach the last eight this season. Cue more Simeone celebrations.
The next time you watch Atletico Madrid play, imagine me sat alone somewhere in a dark room with a bowl of peanuts and a beer, nodding my head like that famous Jack Nicholson gif from Anger Management.
Diego Simeone and Atletico Madrid are the masters of shithousery.
‘That’s right, Diego Costa, you flick his ear off the ball’ and ‘look at Simeone screaming at the home fans in disgust when they boo an Atletico player for getting a tactical yellow. Give it to them!’ will be likely comments from myself.
I’ve aired my dirty laundry in public. Now, feel free to do the same and tell us which team is your guilty pleasure.