Seongnam FC open their clubhouse with care and respect…how Atletico became the ‘biggest visiting team of all time’

Atletico Madrid spent a week in the Seongnam FC clubhouse, making them the biggest visiting team ever.

Atletico came to Korea to participate in the Coupang Play Series. Atletico is a prestigious Spanish soccer team. Founded in 1903, they celebrated their 120th anniversary this year and have won 11 Spanish La Liga titles. They have won the Copa del Rey 10 times, the Supercopa de España five times, and the UEFA Europa League (UEL) three times.

Under Diego Simeone, the club has become a European powerhouse. Before Simeone’s arrival, the team faltered to the point of relegation, but since his arrival, they’ve become a powerhouse in La Liga and Europe. When Atletico traveled to South Korea to face Team K League and Manchester City, they decided to stay at the Conrad Hotel in Yeouido. The team looked for a training center in the area, but ultimately chose Seongnam FC’s clubhouse in Jungdong-dong, Bundang-gu, Seongnam.

It’s a long way from Yeouido to Jeongdong, and the area is very congested during rush hour. Atletico’s search for a training center began in May. Manchester City, Atletico’s arch-rivals, also visited in April to check out the clubhouse facilities and training. Atletico toured several venues, including the Goyang Sports Complex, and after seeing the Seongnam FC clubhouse, they immediately started talking to Seongnam FC.

There were two main reasons. The first was that it had all the facilities beyond the training ground. In addition to the outside training facility (grass training field), the Seongnam FC clubhouse has an artificial turf with mini-games, a gym, personal exercise equipment, and lots of lockers, making it a great place to get fit and improve your condition.

Another was security. “Atletico looked at the surroundings of the Seongnam FC clubhouse and realized that the location was like a fortress. We were able to block it from outside eyes.” Atletico approached Seongnam FC through Coupang for two reasons. It may seem like a simple matter of lending a clubhouse, but there was a lot to negotiate. There was a lot of complexity to unravel.

Despite the time and effort involved, Seongnam FC allowed Atletico to use their clubhouse. A Seongnam FC official said, “We wanted to get more than just a loan by opening up our clubhouse to the prestigious European club, Atletico, to showcase Seongnam City and Seongnam FC. There were many situations before this season where the club was faltering, and we actively tried to attract them as a club to renew our image. Rather than training behind closed doors, we wanted to benefit from the fact that Seongnam is a big city, has a club that represents the city, and interacts with top European teams. Naturally, we had discussions and made adjustments without harming our players.”

Atletico also tried to avoid interfering with Seongnam FC’s schedule as much as possible: “Atletico and Seongnam FC are both professional clubs. We have good communication because we are both professional clubs. We tried not to interfere with their training ahead of their home game against the Jeonnam Dragons on July 29, and they respected that. It was a mutual consideration,” said a Seongnam FC official.

The process was a bit bumpy. There were frequent trilateral meetings between Seongnam FC, Atletico, and Coupang as schedules and details changed. Seongnam FC also had to communicate internally about squad schedules and youth meetings. Even after the visit, changes continued to occur. For example, after the team’s loss in the K League, Simeone’s training hours were reduced. Seongnam FC responded quickly to the changes in the schedule and showed the utmost respect for their ‘guest’ Atletico.메이저사이트

Atletico spent a considerable amount of time in the Seongnam FC clubhouse during their visit, and reportedly were happy to get more out of the training than just kicking the ball around.