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Atlético de Madrid. Two-time UEFA Champions League finalists. An incredible team with an incredible drive, who have an incredible record.

Los Rojiblancos have a quarter-final date with Borussia Dortmund thanks to their second leg round of 16 victory over Internazionale Milano in early March.

It was a big result for them because of what it represented.

While luck has not shone on them in the competition, especially during Diego Simeone's time, they have managed to clinch the best home run record in the history of the competition’s knockout stages.

Can that brilliant home form get them past Borussia Dortmund?

Atlético in the Champions League

Atlético has participated in 19 Champions League seasons.

Their first appearance was in the 1958/59 season when it was still called the European Cup. They lost in the semi-finals to their derby rivals Real Madrid, who went on to win that season's competition.

They have appeared in six more semi-finals since then and have made a total of three final appearances.

Three finals is more than what many European clubs have made. However, it also places them as one of the unluckiest teams in the competition.

Regardless, nobody can take away their pedigree in the competition, thanks to their incredible knockout record as alluded to in the intro to this piece.

They have been in the knockouts in 15 out of the 19 seasons that they have participated in the competition. This includes the old format when the first knockout stage was called the second round.

In that time, they have played 23 knockout matches, 21 of which have been managed by the most successful manager in their history, Diego Simeone.

Also, as mentioned earlier, Atlético does not lose at home in the knockout rounds. Their only loss in their history came in the round of 16 of the 2020/21 season against eventual winners Chelsea.

Most of their wins at this stage of the competition have also been conservative. This is evidence of their mentality during knockout rounds.

Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League

Borussia Dortmund have participated in 21 UEFA Champions League seasons, two more than Atlético. Their first appearance was in the 1956/57 season, which was two seasons before their quarter-final opponents debuted in the competition.

This shows that Die Schwarzegelben has more history in the competition than the Spanish side.

Unlike their opponents who got to the semis in their first outing, however, the first time that the German side reached that far in the competition was in their third outing in the 1963/64 season. That was their second knockout appearance in the competition following their quarter-final finish in the 1957/58 season.

They have reached the round of 16 (first knockout stage) 17 times, the quarter-finals nine times, the semis four times, and the final twice.

Atlético have a better record than they do in the knockouts but they have one advantage over the Spaniards: they have won the title.

That win was in the 1996/97 season but the club understands more than Atlético what winning means, which is a plus in their charge for the semis ticket in the ongoing competition.

Their home and away record in the knockouts also pales in comparison to Atlético Madrid, which is what will worry the team going into the game.

However, they have not lost a knockout tie in which they kept a clean sheet in the first leg.

Diego Simeone vs Edin Terzic

Simeone's first UCL match as a manager was in the 2013/14 season. He reached the final of the tournament in his debut in the competition, which is a feat only Pep Guardiola has managed in the past two decades.

Terzic, at this time, was only a few years into retirement and learning the ropes as a football scout.

However, as Simeone himself has shown, rookies can beat veterans.

Can the rookie German manager overcome the veteran Argentine manager? Let us look at their seasons so far.

Edin Terzic



Matches Played




Domestic Cup


Continental Cup (UCL)








Goals scored


Goals conceded


Points (from league)



Diego Simeone



Matches Played




Domestic Cup


Domestic Super Cup


Continental Cup (UCL)








Goals scored


Goals conceded


Points (from league)


Formation and style of play

This season, Simeone has played with a flat 3-5-2 formation, only switching it up to a 4-4-2 (his preferred formation) or any other formation when he was missing players. Terzic, on the other hand, is flexible, adjusting his matchday formation to fit the other team's formation.

We can infer that Simeone will stick to his guns and Terzic will try to match him when both sides meet in the quarter-final.

Predicting Atlético’s chances against Dortmund

Atlético Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund tickets and Borussia Dortmund vs Atlético Madrid tickets have sold out on both clubs' websites.

The tickets were put on sale the minute they both qualified for the quarter-finals and only attentive fans were able to purchase their tickets via the official channels.

This leaves other fans with the option of purchasing their tickets from trusted ticket resellers on platforms like where fans can also select their seating for a great experience of the match.

Both teams have faced each other four times in the competition. All four matches were in the group stages (two ties, four matches played home and away). The outcome is even: two wins and two draws for both teams.

The peculiarity of their meetings does not lie in the fact that they have not faced each other in the knockout rounds. It lies in the fact that they have both won at each other’s home grounds (one home and away win each).

Considering Atlético's record at home in the knockouts, Dortmund stand no clear chance.

Knockout football is more up Atléti’s alley than it is Dortmund's. The Spanish team also has the better defensive record of the two teams this season and two of the top scorers.

These are the irrefutable evidence with which we back our claim that Atléti will clinch the semi-final ticket from this tie.

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