It is not necessary to be one of the oldest in the place to remember the situation that Atlético was going through not long ago. The club fought, almost always without success, to enter Europe and lived oblivious to the battle for titles. Now it is very different. Therefore, the presentation of Miguel Ángel Gil at the World Football Summit 2019, presented as «The growth of Atlético», was one of the highlights of the day. In it, he explained the decisions that have led the institution to the present moment, and made special mention of the acquisition in 2017 of Atlético San Luis, a branch of the club in Mexico with which it wants to broaden the social and commercial mass. A movement that is a true reflection of what Atlético has become.
«We do not have the strength of Real Madrid or Barcelona, who put a flag and charge for it. We have to work from below and make our brand increasingly known in the world, ”he explained. Mexico, with its 110 million inhabitants, seems ideal: «Its league is among the most powerful. The idea is to copy what is done right here, ”explained Gil Marín. Atlético did not want to be oblivious to this global game and has invested in other clubs in the rest of the planet. Before he did it in India: "Years ago only cricket was played, but football there is increasingly important," Gil Marín said of a market of more than one billion people.
Íñigo Riestra, Secretary General of the Mexican Federation, told ABC at what point football is in his country: «The league is one of the most important in the world by supporters, but we still have to go one step further. We have a large market in the United States for the amount of Mexicans living there, more than 50 million ». As for the landing of Atlético, he celebrates the commitment of a "great European club": "It's good news. It brings money and knowledge and helps us grow. In addition, we have a healthy hobby and a great young talent. All this makes it a very attractive investment ».
Be among the best
At a sports level, as Gil Marín acknowledged, the commitment to Simeone and the management of the workforce have been his main success. “The ratio between the club's income and the position in the UEFA ranking is exceptional. This summer we had to reinvent ourselves after so many outings, but we continue to compete ».
For all this, the current one is, with total security, the sweetest time of the club. Far are the attempts to save themselves from bankruptcy or the times when they barely showed up in Europe. The social mass does not stop growing and the Metropolitan and the sports cities aspire to take the club to another ladder. «The new generations do not know what it is to see Atlético in difficulties, they only know success. And that is the intention. It is time to look back and value what was achieved, ”he analyzed.
Judging by what has been achieved, Atlético is on the right track. “There are historical clubs that are great for their titles and others are considered large for the investment made: the case of Qatar in Paris or Dubai in the Premier. Atlético is approaching them. We have found the balance to grow, and not only in sports, ”Gil Marín reflected. A most eloquent fact is the budget: from 100 million to 500 in ten years. To this is added a new stadium, better infrastructure, presence in other countries and a sports performance that supports all this. Because as he defended throughout the talk: «Soccer is not just a sport, it is an industry». And increasingly global. .