The Champions League round of 16 matches continues this week. Out of many interesting matches, Manchester United against Atletico Madrid will be fascinating to watch. The fixture set for February 24 for the first leg played in Atletico’s home, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano. The clash between two underdog teams in the Champions League is already making headlines due to Cristiano Ronaldo facing the Spanish club.
So what makes this fixture so interesting with the presence of Cristiano? Also, why must it fear Manchester United on Wednesday? Let’s find out
Manchester United and Atletico Madrid History
The two clubs do not have much history, having only previously faced each other in the Cup winners in 1991. The match ended as a draw with one goal each from Mark Hughes and Bernd Schuster. Since then, both clubs have never met each other in the history of the Champions League.
However, Manchester United has an edge over Atletico Madrid when it comes to history. The English club has won the UCL title three times, in 1968, 1999, and 2008. Meanwhile, Atletico was successful in reaching the final four times but never won it. More to that, Atletico Madrid lost their recent UCL finals in 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 against Real Madrid, where Cristiano Ronaldo remained the Catalyst.
Cristiano Ronaldo against Atletico Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo will face Atletico for the 32nd time in his long career. The Wednesday night’s clash will add another chapter to a 13-year feud. The Portuguese forward has been Atletico’s worst nightmare all these years. Atletico fans have always tried to make fun of him, making jokes about every detail of his life and career, but Ronaldo always comes out on top. The United forward has faced Atletico the most (31 times) during his time at Real Madrid and Juventus. During this time, he scored 25 goals, including four hat-tricks and nine assists.
Furthermore, the Atletico manager knows more about Ronaldo than any other manager. Simeone faced embarrassment each time he faced Cristiano. Ronaldo ended Atletico’s Champions League hopes on five occasions between 2014 and 2019. The rivalry can be summed up by the UCL quarterfinal between Juventus and Atletico. Ronaldo was mocked by Atleti fans after the first leg 2-0 loss during his time at Juventus. Subsequently, Ronaldo shut Simeone and Atletico fans after scoring a hat-trick in the second leg to qualify for the next round. Moreover, upon scoring the final goal, Ronaldo mocked Simeone’s ‘cojones’ celebration.
Therefore, it is obvious Ronaldo will receive a hostile welcome on Wednesday night in Metropolitano. However, Atletico fans will be less tensed since they won’t be seeing the same player during Real Madrid. Nevertheless, Simeone won’t write off the 37-year-old Ronaldo looking at his past record of his against Atletico Madrid.