Unless it's Real Madrid or Barcelona, no La Liga club seem capable of keeping their best players. Not even Atletico Madrid, who've seen numerous top stars leave the club for better sides, especially in the last decade or so.
Yet, the Rojiblancos have been highly successful under Diego Simeone, thanks in no small part to the manager's tactical brilliance and also to the club's incredible scouting network, which has adequately helped replace the outgoing stars almost every single time.
Atletico Madrid's XI if they had not sold their best players:
Over the years, Atletico Madrid have sold so many marquee players that one has to wonder how the team would look like if they had retained them all. Well, worry not, we've got it all sorted for you.
Diego Forlan, Mario Mandzukic, Raul Jimenez, Lucas Hernandez, Miranda and Kevin Gamiero.
On that note, here's the best XI of players sold by Atletico Madrid: (Formation: 4-4-2).
Goalkeeper: David De Gea (Manchester United)
We could've easily gone with Thibaut Courtois here. That was because he was at the heart of Atletico Madrid's rise to European prominence, and he won the Europa League, La Liga and the Copa Del Rey in the early years of the Diego Simeone era. However, the towering Belgian was only on loan from Chelsea, and hence De Gea beats him to this spot.
A graduate of the club's academy, the Spaniard broke into the Atletico Madrid senior team in 2009 after five impressive years with the youth side.
David De Gea usurped Sergio Asenjo as the first-choice in goal by the end of the season and also featured in the Europa League final win against Fulham at just 19 years of age.
His superlative performances throughout the 2010-11 season sparked rumours linking him with Manchester United, who were looking to replace the retiring Edwin van der Sar.
And despite De Gea playing them down all the while, his £18.9 million transfer, which was then a British transfer record for a goalkeeper, was confirmed later in the summer. Suffice to say, David De Gea hasn't looked back since.