The team with one of the largest payrolls and arguably the most talent in the Premier League is about to get richer. They are in prime position to take second in the league and could really make a run at the title next season.
The Europa League remains the best chance for a trophy this season and Atlético travels to Russia in the knockout phase on Thursday.
Lionel Messi hit a 26th-minute free kick and the Barcelona defense held on for a 1-0 win on Saturday. The victory opened up an eight-point gap to Atletico Madrid, all but deciding the title.
Atleti is now just five points back of Barcelona for first. The double game weeks continue as the red and whites must travel to one of the toughest places to play for the biggest match of the season.
Real Madrid may only be the fourth favorite in the books, but with their pedigree they cannot be overlooked.
The grueling Thursday-Sunday schedule turns the focus right back to La Liga. Atleti return home for a match vs. parent club Athletic Bilbao this weekend.
The Europa league knockout stage starts with a match at FC Copenhagen on Thursday.