Atletico became the first team since Valencia in 2004 to knock Real and Barca from top spot, breathing new life into the Spanish championship. REUTERS/Sergio Perez
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While Real Madrid and Barcelona have once more spent vast sums to win back the La Liga crown, they are set to face dogged competition again from champions Atletico Madrid who have a side built on a fraction of the cost. Atletico became the first team since Valencia in 2004 to knock Real and Barca from top spot, breathing new life into the Spanish championship that had become a two-horse race. Unsurprisingly, with Atletico winning the league and reaching the Champions League final, their playing stocks have been raided by richer clubs and talisman Diego Costa has left for Chelsea.As Atletico lost key players, Real and Barcelona once again reinforced with the cream of the market in the close season.Last year, the marquee signings were Gareth Bale and Neymar for Real and Barca respectively. Barcelona, however, have made major changes.
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