Atlético Madrid's preseason begins on Tuesday, as Los Colchoneros are in Mexico to face Toluca FC and celebrate that club’s 100th anniversary with a friendly.
The game may not be readily available to watch, but that doesn't mean we can't do some digging on Atleti's opponents and where they originate. We know all about Atleti, now let’s see what we can find out about Toluca.
Toluca are located in...well, Toluca de Lerdo. It’s the capital of the State of Mexico, one of the 32 federal divisions that comprise the country of Mexico. Toluca is a little more than 40 miles southwest of Mexico City, and is arguably best known for its spicy pork sausage - also known as chorizo.
(And not the Chipotle kind of chorizo, good as it is. I’m talking real chorizo.)
Toluca also is home to a pretty decent football team. Deportivo Toluca play at the Estadio Nemesio Díez, which just completed a renovation project to the tune of 800 million pesos. Toluca are 10-time Liga MX champions, which makes them the third-most successful team in Mexico. Los diablos rojos finished fourth in Clausura 2017 - the second half of the Liga MX season - and made it to the second half of the Liguilla playoffs, where they were eliminated on away goals by eventual winners Chivas. Toluca opened the 2017-18 Liga MX season on Saturday with a 0-0 draw away to Chivas.
Current manager Hernán Cristante is a club legend. He made over 400 appearances as the team’s goalkeeper between 1993 and 2010 and took over as coach in May 2016. Current goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera is the national team’s #2 goalkeeper behind Guillermo Ochoa. Paraguayan center back Paulo da Silva is in his third stint at the club after spells at Sunderland and Zaragoza; the 37-year-old is the most-capped player in Paraguay’s history. Former Atlético canterano Diego Gama is a Toluca player, too; the 21-year-old forward has made just three Liga MX appearances and nine in total over three years.