Blog Written by Sahil Mehra (@VivaLaDiego):
Regardless of whether Atletico Madrid emerged victorious after the Champions League final against Real Madrid in Milan, Diego Simeone's side had already done more than enough to establish themselves as one of the best teams in Spain and Europe. While a loss to Levante meant the squad fell short in La Liga, this was a team more in tune with their coach's philosophy than the one that won the league back in the 2013/14 campaign.
The 2015-2016 season was Atletico Madrid's 85th season in existence and the club's 79th season in Spain’s first division, La Liga. The season for the club began on July 25, 2015 and ended on May 28, 2016.
Atletico were a bit busy in the transfer market in the month of June last year. In the middle of the month it was confirmed that Mario Mandzukic would leave the club for Juventus, which was heart-breaking news for the Atletico fans. In a few day span it was confirmed that Luciano Vietto and Jackson Martinez would also join the Madrid side for the upcoming campaign while the likes of Leo Baptistao and Miranda would leave the club.
In the month of July the transfer of players such as Arda Turan, Miranda, Mario Suarez, Toby Alderweireld from the club were confirmed. At the same time Atletico signed new players in order to strengthen their squad for the upcoming season. The players that joined Atletico in July were: Luciano Vietto, Yannick Carrasco, and Stefan Savic. The club also signed ex-player Filipe Luis, who returned to the Spanish side after just one season with West London club, Chelsea.
August marked the departure of Atletico's Mexican striker Raul Jimenez to Portuguese side, Benfica. August also saw the Spanish club lifting their tenth Carranza trophy after defeating Real Betis in the final. Atletico's league campaign started on 22nd of August against Las Palmas at the Calderon. Atletico won that game thanks to a goal from Antoinne Griezmann. A few days later the Spanish side was drawn in the Group C of the Champions League along with Portuguese Champions, Benfica, Turkish champions, Galatasaray and Kazakh champions Astana.
Atletico won their second game of the season against Sevilla 3-0 thanks to goals from Koke, Gabi and Jackson Martinez. On the very last day of the summer transfer window, the club saw the departure of club legend Raul Garcia to Athletic Bilbao and also the arrival of Matias Kranevitter from River Plate.
The month of September was a bit of a bumpy ride for the Spanish side after losses against FC Barcelona and Benfica at the Vicente Calderon Stadium. The club also saw wins against Galatasaray and Eibar. The club also lost against Villarreal, thanks to the goal from ex Atletico man Leo Baptistao deciding the match.
The month of October saw the first Madrid derby of the season at the Calderon. The match ended in a 1-1 draw with goals from Karim Benzema and Luciano Vietto. The month also saw wins against Real Sociadad and Valenica. The club played its third match in the Champions League against Kazak Champions, Astana. The Spanish side ended up winning that game easily 4-0.
November was a good month for the Spanish side as the club saw wins against Sporting Gijon, Real Betis and Espanyol as the club moved to the second spot in La Liga. The club also won against Turkish Champions, Galatasaray, 2-0 at the Calderon and saw them qualify for the Champions League Round of 16.
As the season entered into the month of December, Atletico defeated Granada 2-0, away from home making it their sixth consecutive win in the Spanish Liga. A 2-1 win against Athletic Bibao ensured the club moved to the top spot in the La Liga. In the middle of the month, the Spanish side was draw against Dutch side PSV in the Champions League Round of 16 tie. Atletico then secured three very important points against Rayo Vallecano to finish off the year 2015 in brilliant style, thanks to goals from Griezmann and Angel Correa.
On the very first day of the January transfer window, the Spanish club announced that they had reached an agreement with Celta Vigo for the transfer of Argentine midfielder, Augusto Fernandez. The club started the new year with an impressive 1-0 win against Levante at Vincente Calderon. The club progressed to the Copa del Rey competition with a 4-1 aggregate victory over Rayo. Despite goals from Griezmann and Correa, the club fell to a 2-3 loss against Celta, knocking the club out of the competition.
The month of February started off with Atletico's striker Jackson Martinez departing from the club for Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande for a hefty fee. The club's old and loving boy, Fernando Torres scored his 100th goal for the club in a victory against Getafe. In the second Madrid derby of the season, Atletico defeated Real Madrid away from home, thanks to a Griezmann goal.
March was an impressive month for Atletico, with the Spanish club defeating Real Sociadad, Valencia and Deportivo in the Spanish Liga. The club also defeated Dutch side, PSV, in the Round of 16 match-up in a penalty shootout after both legs ended 0-0.
The month of April saw pretty impressive performance from the Spanish side in the Champions League. Even though losing to FC Barcelona 2-1 in the first leg of the quarterfinals, they rebounded and won 2-0 at home in the second leg, thanks to a brace from star striker, Antoinne Griezmann. The club also defeated German Champions, Bayern Munich in the first leg of the semifinal at the Calderon, thanks to a Saul Niguez goal.
May ended up being a disappointing month for the Spanish side. Even though they defeated Bayern Munich on away goals and progressed to the Champions League Final, they eventually lost to Levante, which ended their remaining hopes of lifting the La Liga trophy. Diego Simeone and his squad also lost the Champions league Final against archrivals, Real Madrid, in Milan on penalties.
Although Atletico did not win any major trophies this season, they performed well enough throughout the year to hold their heads high.