More of the same for Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid; Change for rival Atletico

Monday December 12th, 2016

Sergio Ramos scored in the last minute again for Real Madrid–just as he did against Barcelona–and this time it was for the winning goal in a nerve-wracking triumph over Deportivo de La Coruña. In England they call it Fergie time, but in Spain it’s becoming known as Ramos o’clock, the time when the Spanish center back comes up with important goals. The win keeps Real Madrid atop La Liga and gave coach Zinedine Zidane a new club record of 35 games unbeaten.

Across town, there was a sign that authentic rival Atletico Madrid is entering a new phase of its history with an updated logo and, more significantly, the announcement that its new stadium will be called the Wanda Metropolitano.

Chinese business Wanda Group bought 20% of Atletico, while the club’s first stadium, where it played from 1923 to 1966, was the Stadium Metropolitano de Madrid. “It’s a name full of history and future,” said president Enrique Cerezo, while chief executive Angel Gil Marin made the announcement from Beijing.

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Fans were not so happy with the decision, though. A poll in Marca showed the majority wanted the stadium named after former coach Luis Aragones, while others wanted the New Calderon.

“Maybe someday I can tell my grandfather I played at the Metropolitano,” said Fernando Torres, going slightly off-script by dropping the sponsor name.

Atletico used to relish its position as an underdog, and embody the cholismo spirit of coach Diego Simeone. Speculation continues to swirl over his future, with the Argentine confirming that at some point in his career that he’d like to coach Inter Milan. But this new development shows just how far the club has come in his five years at the helm.

Real Madrid may be off to Asia this week to play in the Club World Cup, but Atletico’s Wanda partnership, thanks in part to the success under Simeone, has made the latest incarnation of the club a very modern parable.

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