Today, Diario AS celebrates it's 50th birthday. I'm still writing from the euphoria of our Monday night gala celebration that was attended by the King of Spain who had words of praise for the key role of sports journalism today. I'm also reminded of that day, when I was just 16-years-old, I turned my back on Marca and started to spend my three pesetas on the new offering from AS after being a faithful reader of the former. It was full of new features and remember starting to avidly read a serialised article on the life of Pirri and recall the "back page girl", who on that first day was Conchita Velasco.
Atleti UCL exit
The party is over and things must carry on, today's edition of AS is number 17,014 and coincides with the sad exit of Atlético Madrid in the 2017/18 Champions League. It's specifically galling this season with the club just moving to their new Wanda Metropolitano home. Those of us who have witnessed clubs moving to new stadia would have seen how a team initially struggles playing in new surroundings. This adaption takes time as it does with moving house and it unfortunately coincided with the team suffering a FIFA ban on signing news players.
What if ....
One can only look back at the series of chances created in Rome, the dropped points against Qarabag, that last minute Batshuayi goal for Chelsea at the Metropolitano! There is no time for lamenting the exit as Simeone's men now focus on the Europa League which should be a serious objective for the club. The win in Hamburg against Fulham was the stepping stone to the recent years of success the club has enjoyed. Barça and Madrid are already through to the last 16 and all eyes are now on Sevilla who face Maribor. Three out of four wouldn't be so bad and we look forward you to being you all these stories as we have done for the past 50 years.