The 43-year-old fan, who was not identified by name, had to be extracted from the freezing Manzanares river near Atletico’s Vicente Calderon stadium and suffered cardiac arrest, hypothermia and head injuries, emergency services confirmed.
Hospital sources later said he had died shortly after 2pm local time after failing to respond to efforts to revive him. Eleven other people were treated for mostly minor injuries, including one female police officer with a fractured hand.
Trouble flared in the Madrid Rio public park, close to Atletico’s Vicente Calderon stadium, ahead of a match that began at midday local time (11am GMT).
According to reports in Spain, groups of Atletico and Deportivo hooligans gathered at the site where the violence began at around 9am.
Twenty people were taken into custody and a total of 100 troublemakers had been identified, police said on their Twitter feed.
Spanish league authorities had wanted the match to be postponed but said it was not possible.
The Liga de Futbol Profesional announced on its website: “The LFP expresses its condemnation at the incidents that took place on Sunday morning on the outskirts of the Vicente Calderon stadium before the week 13 match in La Liga between Atletico Madrid and Deportivo La Coruna.
“The LFP has been steadfast in its intention to suspend the match and it has not been possible. The association is working with Fans United, the national police and all clubs and societies to end violence, racism, xenophobia and intolerance in professional football.”
Atletico Madrid issued their own statement, saying: “Atletico Madrid strongly condemns the incidents in the area of Madrid Rio in the hours before the match against Deportivo La Coruna.
“The values that promotes sport should prevail over any rivalry and together we must fight against the scourge of violence.”