Atletico Madrid: 5 candidates for Player of the Year

(Photo credit: Anish Morarji)

For Atletico Madrid, it has been a season of two halves. The first: a slow, laboured opening to the season that coincided with a stadium move and a transfer ban, and resulted in far too many La Liga draws and a premature Champions League exit.

The second: a significant upturn in form, a return to something that resembled the Atletico of old, and a surge towards the last four of the Europa League. Briefly, they even threatened to challenge Barcelona at the top of La Liga.

Had Atletico been consistent throughout the campaign they would likely be challenging on all fronts now. That is not to say, however, that the season has been disappointing. A second-placed finish in La Liga and a Europa League title would represent a not unimpressive return. 

To achieve that, Atletico will need big performances from their key players. Here are five who should be considered for the club's Player of the Year.