By Alex Al-Kazzaz
As a result of finishing at the bottom of their group in the UEFA Champions League, Atlético Madrid is not only out of the Champions League tournament, but they are out of the Europa League tournament, as well. For the first time since 2007, Atlético won't see any European competition for the second half of the season.
Atlético finished their group stage run with one win, two draws, and three losses with a goal differential of negative four. In their match against Bayer Leverkusen on October 26th, Atlético's Yannick Carrasco missed a decisive penalty that would have sent Atlético to the Champions League knockout stage. A 2-1 loss to Porto ultimately sealed their fate and destroyed Atlético's hopes for European football for the rest of this season.
The only thing left for Atlético this season is La Liga play. They're currently third in the La Liga standings. Atlético needs to secure a spot in the top four in order to qualify for next season's UEFA Champions League.
In this season's UEFA Champions League, a total of four Spanish clubs competed in the tournament. Out of those four, only one qualified for the tournament's knockout stage and that would be the defending UCL champions Real Madrid. Barcelona and Sevilla have both been relegated to the Europa League. Not the best season for Spanish soccer in European competition. It's unfortunate that Atlético got the worse out of it all.
Right now, there's some speculation about the future of Atlético's manager Diego Simeone. Simeone has been in charge of the club since 2011. He has led the club to two La Liga titles and two UEFA Europa League titles. In addition, he's won the Copa del Rey, and Supercopa de España along with two UEFA Super Cup titles as the team manager. Furthermore, he led Atlético to the UEFA Champions League finals twice, finishing as runners-up both times.
Quite frankly, Simeone's future with the club has been in question for some time now. At this point, Simeone is probably more than likely to finish this season out. Regardless of how Simeone departs the club, there's no denying he's accomplished a lot and opportunities will be there for him.