I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio where our professional sports had not seen a championship won since 1964. The streak ended with a 2016 NBA championship for the Cleveland Cavaliers. For Club Atlas, the streak is even more sinister, as their wait has been since 1950/51.
The Apertura 2017 started off very well for Atlas. Notching back-to-back wins had fans excited for what was to come. However, the party would die a horrible death for los RojiNegros. Mexican legend and Atlas defender, Rafael Márquez, was hit with some terrible news, as he was linked to a drug cartel member, virtually canceling his season while an investigation is underway.
Atlas players wore Rafael Márquez’s (ex-Barça) shirt backwards to support the player before the game against Club América on Friday. pic.twitter.com/2k2IYjSxyG
— BarçaSpiral (@BarcaSpiral) August 12, 2017
Although many believe the ties between the cartel member and Rafa were not to Márquez’s knowledge, the investigation will take a lot of time. To clear his name, El Kaiser can only wait, which means his footballing career may be over for not only El Tri, but for Atlas, as well.
Things didn’t end with the Rafa cartel ties for Atlas. During a match against Club América, loanee and young star from Ghana, Clifford Aboagye, was taken off the match with an injury. That injury would turn out to be a devastating blow for Clifford, as it will take 3-4 months to recover.
One of the best defenders in the league, along with a rising attacking midfield star will be out of the roster for Atlas. Starting off with two wins was a terrible facade for the club and fans who have been waiting decades for their title.
One thing is certain for Atlas; despite having hope and optimism, they have encountered heartbreak too many times to count.