Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo said it is vital that his team breaks the La Liga duopoly of Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Valencia are the only side to have won the title outside of Spain’s biggest two clubs since 2004, but with Atletico placed second in the table, there is a belief around Vicente Calderon they can mount a genuine challenge for domestic glory this season.
And Cerezo feels it is crucial for both the club and supporters of the game that his side keep pace with unbeaten leaders Barcelona and break the trend in the league.
“It is not only important for Atletico, but for football fans in general,” he told Marca.
“La Liga was a two-horse race, but Atletico started well and has now fully cemented its place in the pack challenging for the league title. (I cannot) ask anything else from the team.”
Cerezo went on to praise the work of coach Diego Simeone, who has helped transform the club into one of Europe’s strongest sides since his arrival in December 2011.
“Maybe the progress made by the team in such a short period of time has been the most notable change at the club,” he added.
“Simeone has given them confidence, self-belief and above all optimism and joy. When he arrived, the team lacked all of this.”