By Nishant Awasthi

Whistles galore and claps surround!!! The Madrid derby is around.
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Real Madrid has always been the biggest club on the planet since the inception of the European football where Real Madrid won the championship for five times in succession. Their less known city rivals Atletico Madrid had been lost under the shadow of Real Madrid for majority of this time period, but last 5 years have seen a change in the stature of the minion club Atletico Madrid.
Football rivalries are popular not just because of the intense matches that are being played between the two rival clubs on the pitch, but also because of the off pitch rivalry amongst the fans, and this rivalry reaches its epitome when the derby is being played between two clubs of the same city. City derby has not been so popular in Madrid in the past as Atletico De Madrid was nothing more than a small thorn in the path of mighty Real Madrid and domestic league success as their greatest rivals have always been Barcelona, and their greatest match, the El Classico, which is often termed as the biggest match in sports in the calendar year, but Atletico Madrid, under the tutelage of Diego Simione have risen to greater heights in past 5 years and have now become a dominant force in European football, and have certainly emerged to be a great city rivals.
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Atletico Madrid won the Copa Del Ray in the 2012-13 season and then in the next season 2013-14 they pulled off the unexpected by coming from behind and winning the league dominated by Real Madrid and Barcelona surprising the footballing world and leaving everybody in awe. If this was not enough for them to establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the international arena, their next achievement was certain to make them a dominant force in Europe. In the same season 2013-14 when Real Madrid went on to win their much coveted La Decima, the 10th Champions league title, Atletico Madrid were the team facing Real Madrid in the finals. They reached the finals at the expense for biggest football clubs in the world in the form of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester United and if it had not been for the 93rd minute header of Sergio Ramos, Atletico Madrid were on their way to glory, on their way to win the Champions league at the expense of Real Madrid.
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In the current season as well, Atletico Madrid stand on the 2nd position in the league, one point ahead of the third placed Real Madrid and they look set to make another claim to the league title if they defeat Real Madrid on the night of 27th February 2016. Though the league leaders Barcelona have a sizeable lead of 8 points at the top, they have a match left against both Real Madrid and Athletico Madrid and their lead at the top of the division can be overhauled by both of the Madrid clubs. Due to this reason, Barcelona too would be watching this match with great expectations.
For Real Madrid, this match is will be played to restore their pride as they have not beaten their city rivals Atletico Madrid in last five meetings. Both teams have players that can individually win them the game with Real Madrid having in their fold the greatest player of all time, Cristiano Ronaldo who is again the second highest goal scorer in the league after Luis Suarez of Barcelona, just two goals behind. Atletico have the best defensive record in the league having conceded only 11 goals in their 25 matches. With 13 matches still left in the league, the title can go anywhere and the world will be watching these two giants of the modern game with huge expectations as this clash of David and Goliath happens once again on this 27th of February 2016.

Nishant Awasthi
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