Atletico Madrid have punched well above their weight this decade. The Spanish outfit were never a small squad, but getting the better of both Barcelona and Real Madrid in a La Liga season is extremely difficult, having only been done by two other clubs this century (Deportivo La Coruna and Valencia).
Not blessed with the riches of the other heavyweights, Atletico Madrid have one big factor to thank for their success, manager Diego Simeone. Since taking charge, the Argentine has led Los Colchoneros to the league title, a Copa Del Rey triumph as well as two trips to the Champions League final. Their recent glories have allowed the club to move into a new stadium, and it’s fitting that the Wanda Metropolitano will host the Champions League final this season.
All things must come to an end however, and you get the sense that Simeone has taken the club as far as he can. It’s now up to you on FIFA 19 Career Mode to get Atletico Madrid firing once again, and back to lifting silverware.
Atletico have a five star rating on FIFA 19. This is made up by a superb 87 attack, 82 midfield and 83 defence ratings.
Simeone has rarely strayed from his simplistic but disciplined 4-4-2 formation, and you should do the same. Other systems you could use are a 4-4-1-1 or a 4-3-3 for more width.
There’s no looking past Jan Oblak in goal (92 GK handling), and the defensive back four is made up by Juanfran, Jose Maria Gimenez, the rock solid Diego Godin (90 marking) and the reliable Filipe Luis (88 composure).
In the midfield four you have the relentless Koke (92 stamina), Thomas Partey, the well-rounded Saul (85 ball control) and Thomas Lemar. There’s heaps of quality up front with star man Antoine Griezmann (89 finishing) playing off the ruthless Diego Costa (93 aggression).
On the bench go for Adan, Stefan Savic, Lucas Hernandez, Rodri, Gelson Martins, Angel Correa and Nikola Kalinic.
Tactics and instructions
Atletico Madrid are built on being defensively solid, and that will be the same for you on FIFA 19. Your challenge is to unlock defences, and with the midfield and attacking quality at your disposal, this shouldn’t be too difficult.
In attack use the movement of Antoine Griezmann (90 agility) off classic number 9 Diego Costa (92 strength) to pick up the ball in dangerous areas. The French World Cup winner won’t need too much space to put the ball away (89 composure). As for Costa, he can run in behind (85 reactions), hold the ball up and strike with either foot (87 finishing), making the front pair a deadly combination.
The technical ability of Saul (85 short passing) and Koke (89 short passing) will allow you to deliver quality to the strikers, but if you are playing against a side that sits deep, the lack of pace could make things tricky. Bring on speedster Gelson Martins (94 sprint speed) to add impetus off the bench.
For your instructions not too much needs to be done, with a lot of the Atletico Madrid side already being set from the default system. The one thing you should change is on Thomas Lemar, with his chance creation set to ‘balanced width’ and not free roam, so he can mix up his movement.
If you ever start or bring on Gelson Martins, alter his chance creation to ‘get in behind’ to use his speed. To save time, it may be worth setting up an entirely new team sheet just for this.
Antoine Griezmann’s attacking runs are already on ‘false 9’, Koke has ‘free roam’ on chance creation and ‘come short’ on support runs, whereas Thomas Partey is on ‘stay back while attacking’ for attacking support. Diego Costa will remain high up the pitch with his defensive support on ‘stay forward’.
In your training sessions you should look to use players with high growth to make the most of your time. Saul, Thomas Lemar, Thomas Partey, Lucas Hernandez, Rodri, Gelson Martins and Angel Correa are the relevant players at Atletico.
The Transfer Market
Starting transfer budget: £60 million
Starting wage budget: £156,000 a week
Who should go
You’ll see there is a massive drop off in quality between the substitutes and the rest of the squad, so you need to identify which players will not have the quality to play for the first team.
We start with someone already in the starting lineup in fact, with right back Juanfran in the last year of his contract. With Santiago Arias arriving at the club and Sime Vrsaljko away on loan, you won’t need him next season. Look to sell the Spaniard for £3.5 million and free up £47,000 a week in your wage budget.
The rest are your reserve players. Joaquin, Carlos Isaac, Cristian Rodriguez, Andres Solano and San Roman are all short on quality, so look to sell them for a combined £1.4 million. This will give you an extra £21,000 for your wages each week.
Just one player needs to be sent out on loan due to Atletico’s small first team squad. Borja Garces will struggle for minutes this season behind forwards Antoine Griezmann, Diego Costa, Nikola Kalinic and Angel Correa, so loan him out so he can grow closer to his 81 potential.
Who to sign
New transfer budget: £65 million
New wage budget: £224,000 a week
Top class right back
You only have enough cash for one first team signing, so make it a good one. Right back is the clear weak link in the team, and bringing in a full back who is adept in both attack and defence can give this side a new dimension.
He may come with critics, but you can’t fault Kyle Walker on FIFA 19. The 28-year-old England international has an 84 rating on the game, coming with stats of 93 sprint speed, 89 stamina and 86 acceleration . You can pick up the Manchester City man for £31 million and with £145,000 a week in wages.
|Joshua Kimmich||23||Bayern Munich||Germany||85||87||£47m||£81k|
Many players have contracts running out at the end of the season for Atletico Madrid, so this must be an area of focus as you start the campaign. Top priorities must be defenders Diego Godin and Filipe Luis as well as midfielder Koke. If you let any of them go for free at the end of the season, you will have lost out on both quality and cash.
Outside the starting lineup you should offer young centre back Montero a new deal, with him likely to become a useful squad player due to his 81 potential. Toni Moya’s potential is only 78, but because of a lack of numbers in the squad, he is worth keeping hold of for the time being.
Juanfran and Cristian Rodriguez should be sold in your first summer, and you can afford to let Tachi go with his 77 potential.
Atletico Madrid’s managerial objectives are amongst the most demanding on the game, given the size of their squad and the difficulty of La Liga. For domestic success, you will be asked to do the double and with both La Liga and the Copa de Espana.
In Europe it gets no easier, with a trip to the Champions League final expected. As for Brand exposure, you will need to gain £176 million from shirt sales over the season.
For youth development you must sign a midfielder to your youth academy as well as growing a player in the academy by 10 overall points. If you scout well, you can cross both these off with one player.
Lastly, your financial goal sees you needing to increase club worth by 20% over two seasons. Maintain a profit each season and pick up silverware to get this one achieved.
Topple the top two once again
Being Atletico Madrid is tough. You are expected to finish above the rest of the pack but sit behind Real Madrid and Barcelona in La Liga. That said, Madrid rivals Real have struggled this season without a certain Cristiano Ronaldo, and that could open the door to second place in La Liga for your Atleti side.
This squad is capable of winning silverware, and the starting lineup can defeat anyone in the world because of their gritty defence. That should make the domestic cup a realistic target, but it may just be a stretch too far to reach the Champions League final as well. Make it to the last four and you can hold your head high.
With a fantastic side and a tough challenge in the league, Atletico Madrid make one of the great choices for FIFA 19’s Career Mode. Could you produce some magic and win the Champions League final in their own stadium this season?
Full Atletico Madrid player ratings
|Alex Dos Santos||19||GK||Brazil||61||75||£400k||£1k|
|Jose Maria Gimenez||23||CB||Uruguay||84||88||£30m||£56k|
|Lucas Hernandez||22||LB CB||France||82||88||£22m||£46k|
|Saul||23||CM LM RM||Spain||85||90||£44m||£68k|
|Koke||26||LM CM RM||Spain||85||85||£36m||£78k|
|Thomas Lemar||22||LM CAM RM||France||83||89||£31m||£56k|
|Thomas Partey||25||CDM CM RM RB||Ghana||82||88||£22m||£52k|
|Angel Correa||23||RM ST||Argentina||81||87||£22m||£48k|
|Oscar Pinchi||22||LM ST||Spain||66||77||£1m||£10k|
|Joaquin||19||LM CAM RM||Spain||63||76||£600k||£4k|
|Toni Moya||20||CM CAM||Spain||62||78||£600k||£5k|
|Cristian Rodriguez||22||CAM CM||Spain||60||70||£300k||£5k|
|Antoine Griezmann||27||CF ST||France||89||90||£69m||£128k|