Those of you familiar with the nomadic lifestyle of Club Atlético de Madrid, will not be too surprised to learn that their reserve side, Club Atlético de Madrid B has also, if you’ll excuse the expression, played around a bit. As the club approaches its 55th year, they are currently residing at their seventh home.
In the early years Atléti, like many of the big teams in Spain, had a series of affiliated clubs rather than a specific reserve team. The first, Imperio FC, reached an agreement with the club that ran from the end of the Civil War until 1947. Following Atléti’s league championship success in 1951, the club struck up a relationship with Agrupación Deportiva Rayo Vallecano, then in the Tercera, which lasted until 1955. Informal arrangements continued with a number of clubs in the Madrid area, but it was not until 1970 that Atléti acquired the federation rights to form a reserve side. Reyfra Atlético de OJE had started out in 1963 as Club Atlético Getafe, and had reached an agreement in 1966 with Rayo Vallecano to become an allied club. Reyfra made solid progress and reached the Tercera in 1967, but with finances tight and gap between Reyfra and Rayo diminishing, Atléti arrived on the scene and bought the club. Reyfra had started out at San Isidro in Getafe, before sharing the old Campo de Vallecas & Vallehermoso with Rayo Vallecano. Atleti moved the club to the recently complete Vicente Calderón in 1970, changing its name to Atlético Madrileño Club de Fútbol in the process.
Madrileño plodded along in the Tercera before being invited to join the newly formed Segunda B in 1977. After a hesitant start, they earned direct promotion to La Segunda with a runners-up finish in 1979-80. There followed six seasons in the second tier, with mostly modest mid-table finishes, before dropping back to Segunda B in 1986. They made a brief return to the second division in 1989-90, but the club’s most successful period arrived with elevation back to La Segunda in 1996. The home campaign for 1995-96 season was played at Rayo’s Campo de Vallecas. By then, the club had become an official dependent of Atlético and had also moved away from the Vicente Calderón, initially to the Estadio Municipal El Soto in Móstoles.
Then in 1997, the club moved it’s accademy to the western satellite town of Majadahonda and the Campo Municipal Cerro del Espino. With an exciting group of young players, Atlético B’s results quickly improved until they achieved runners-up position in La Segunda in 1998-99. With the first team in La Primera, Atlético B could not be promoted due to the senior team’s first division status, but a cruel twist was just around the corner. Just three seasons after securing a league & cup double, the first team and the club as a whole was in turmoil, thanks in no small part to the presidency of Jesús Gil. Atléti was relegated to La Segunda in 2000, forcing the B team to be demoted to Segunda B. It’s a drop that the B Team has yet to recover from, and despite a couple of league titles, promotion via the play-offs has eluded them.
The Miniestadio Cerro del Espino is at the centre of the club’s academy and training facilities. It is also home to Club de Fútbol Rayo Majadahonda, who inaugurated the new stadium on 13 September 1995 with a friendly against Atléti. Two years later, Rayo signed an alliance with Atléti. The main arena underwent substantial improvements in 1996, when Atlético B moved up to La Segunda. The main stand is 80 metres in length and sits on the north west side of the ground. It has its seating deck that is raised 6 feet above pitch level and 725 red & white seats sheltered under a white fibre-glass roof that resembles a series on conjoined gazebos. Opposite the main stand is a thin strip of 825 open seats, whilst the south west end of the ground holds the most spectators, with 1700 housed on a large open deck of red & white seats. All perfectly respectable and ready for action should Atlético B ever regain their place in the second tier.