Atlético’s great sadness and pride in defeat

Simeone, Gabi, Saúl and Godín speak after the final loss

Atlético's Diego Simeone expresses his feelings after the final defeat

Atlético's Diego Simeone expresses his feelings after the final defeat

After Atlético lost a game of chance on Saturday night in Milan against Real Madrid, we take a look at some of the post-match quotes and tweets from our players and coaches, to show that we are certainly not alone in our grief, or our pride.

Stay strong Atléticos. We will be back.

“Defeat puts a lot of years on you,” said Cholo Simeone. “Congratulations to Real Madrid – they were superior to us, this time at penalties. We started the game badly, then we got ourselves organised from the 20th minute. In the second half we could have equalised very quickly but we could not convert the penalty.”

“I give great credit to the team for reinventing itself again after the failed penalty kick and we kept attacking until we scored the goal.”

In terms of his message to the fans, Simeone was apologetic.

“I’m very sad for not being able to give them this long-awaited Champions title. We have reached the Champions League final twice in three years. Coming second is a failure because I do not think that just reaching the final is something fantastic. We must thank the fans for all the effort they have made, they have filled the stadium, paid expensive tickets, always been with us.”

“The truth is that the team has responded very well to a very difficult Champions League because we had to play against Bayern, Barcelona, and Real Madrid.”

“And that makes you think. How am I not going to think, when I reached two finals, didn’t lose either in the 90 minutes, and won none? You have to think.”

According to some reports, ‘needing time to think’ indicated a willingness to take a break for Simeone.

“I’m considering taking some time off to reflect, nothing more,” he told reporters. “I am bound to Atletico and feel loved.

“It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t stop and reflect after losing two finals. It’s only logical.

“We pushed hard in what was a difficult Champions League and we lost. I really like these players and they pushed hard. I told my players not to cry because destiny is destiny and it wasn’t on our side.”

Captain Gabi was adamant that this wasn’t the end for this Atlético side.

“We have to be proud of this team. Starting tomorrow, we have to keep working. This is what is kind and cruel about football. The important thing is to be there and I am convinced that this team is going to come back to win a Champions League because it deserves it.”

Saúl was bursting with pride in his comments after the game.

“I am proud of my team, of my fans, and I’m proud of being an Atlético. I think that we have given our all and it’s something that happens in football. They have won the match with the luck of the penalties.”

Diego Godín used his Twitter account to post his thoughts after the match.

“Thank you all for the support. I’m proud of my colleagues and of you. Now and forever.”

  • leroy

    I still feel really disappointed in the refery and his staff for Not giving pepe a red card, not seeing the off-side goal and not seeing Ramos stopping the ball with his hand in the penalty area… But we can be very proud of this CL campagne because we beated 3 Champions…also I think the team isn’t a better team then we had in 2014, because although Torres worked hard he didn’t had a shot on target again… Let’s hope we buy a good forward like Costa or Cavani (maybe Huntelaar as a back-up) and go for the CL win next season!

  • Parsa

    This damned media reports! When I first read about Simeone’s words in the morning, I thought he is saying he has to think about whether to leave or not. It seemed he has lost his belief and he might gave it up. But reading his full speech, I think he just said he wants to think why he lost two finals AET. I don’t think he is thinking about giving it up. So I want to ask him something.

    Please learn from our second half Cholo. This team has the potential to dominate oppositions by it’s technical ability. We can balance our game by having more possessions on some periods and pressing the opposition on other ones. I don’t want to see Saul and Koke to play on the wings ever again! Utilize Carrasco, Griezmann, Correa and possibily Gaitan on our both wings from next season and let Koke, Saul, Oliver and Thomas to play in the middle. Bear in mind Oliver can does something similar to what modric is doing for Real. Look how brilliant Gabi was with Koke and Saul next to him, Without Tiago or Augusto. You need only one of those three in your line ups, Even in these sort of matches. Real only has Casemiro and he does the job for them. With this form of play and an addition of a star in our attack, We’ll win this UCL. Just learn from this game and come back to fight harder for it. ( I don’t want to mention that we’ll have much bigger chance of winning the league more often too, We lost this year because we didn’t win against oppositions like Gijon or Levante.)

    I feel bad for so many of our players. For Juanfran who clearly didn’t deserve to be the villain at the end. For Gabi who has had two amazing performances at two finals but at both times, he has lost it. For Torres and all those tears which were talking about shattered dreams of childhood. And for Griezmann who had a horrible night. He has been more than good enough in our recent important matches and I think last night just happened for him. He’ll have the most difficult task to recover mentally from this. Hope he makes it.

  • nandes

    Yeah I saw some people criticizing Simeone for being too defeatist, but like the article shows he also says he’s proud of the players and of reaching two finals in three years. Of course the media will always choose the worst quotes to highlight

  • SherbetDip

    sick of reading criticism of Torres – he gets enough undeserved stick from the media – not much service last night and wasn’t helped by Griezmann trying to go it alone instead of playing him in – that said none of the attacking players in either team played to the best of their ability and in the end it was all about luck, so surprised at all the praise for Bale and Ronaldo by the British press … just goes to show what they say isn’t worth a candle. Hope the team doesn’t go into free fall and is able to pick itself up and start again.

  • Kris

    Referee was excellent brother. He kept the game under control the whole time. And Torres was in the pockets of Ramos and Pepe the whole game as well, but I also believe he didn’t try as much as he has been trying after his 100th goal. Obviously he’s not as good as he used to be, but he still has a lot to contribute to the team. We are a team who competes in all three fronts so we need another striker in the team who is able to bang in 25+ goals a season. Torres, sadly can’t do that anymore… but still he has been very good for us after he scored the 100th goal.

  • Randy Ved Jawahir

    Well I was in tears for sure, very proud of our lads, we played well but in the end couldn’t win. Beautiful football don’t win titles and it has proven today. Simeone was genius in his carrasco substitution and the entire team gave an attacking performance of their life against one of the best teams in the world. We are really “las pupas” the cursed ones. We will come back stronger than ever for the next season. Aupa Atleti!!

  • Michael Beer

    It hurts like I’m 14 years old. I want to thank Nick and all else who contribute to this great website for Atleti supporters. I saw two matches at the Calderon w my daughter and was given great advice on where to sit. Not many appreciate Los Colchaneros in Philadelphia, USA where this 59 year old “Cholo” lives. Thanks all once again. Forza Atleti. Michael

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    This was a building season, after losing -once again- several key players, Arda, Raul, Miranda, even Mario, who wasn’t very talented, but he was a heavy weight, against Bayer when we missed our two captains Gabi & Godin he stepped in and was one of the team’s leader, he scored the goal we needed himself and he scored his penalty in the shoot-out .
    Even Mandzukic seemed to be a miss after watching Jackson & Vietto, and after watching Mandzukic having a good -or at least not bad- season with Juve .

    This season we had 11 players born between 1981 and 1986, while the other 13 were born between 1991 and 1996, more than half of the team are 25 or younger .
    And the one who was born in 1996 came on last night to replace our injured left back, while Real Madrid brought on a 30-million player to replace their injured right back, he really only worth 3 million, but my point still stand .

    Despite all that we fought for La Liga title until the penultimate week, and we lost UCL final on penalties after knocking out the filthy rich Barca & Bayern, so imagine what we can do in the next two or three seasons when those kids have more maturity and experience and when we strengthen the team with a couple of new signings, big signings, since we will earn 100 million instead of 40 million from TV rights starting from next season, and with the significant increase in UCL prize money, in 2014 we received 50 million, in 2015 we received 42 million, while for our campaign this season we will get at least 70 million .

    Some people forgot all that, but Simeone didn’t, he is not going anywhere, Simeone is a winner, and he will only leave as a winner, so, Madridistas and Catalans, don’t get so excited .

    And I want Simeone to stay, despite my strong criticism, not because “he is the only one who can get the job done and without him we will be a mid-table team” and all that bullshit that disrespect our great club, but because I can see signs of change, one of them was last night when he chose a better player (Savic) over a more “trusted” one (Gimenez) .
    Maybe if he did the same with Correa and brought him in for Torres or even Saul we could have won the title .
    But there are still a lot that need to change, we have been talking about that the whole season, but in short : we need to learn how to play football .
    Strong defense, fighting spirit, commitment, team work and all of that are good, and they can win you a couple of trophies, but if you want to win more, including the biggest one ever, you must have quality .
    They say the Chelsea side that won UCL 2012 was a bad team, and this is very far from the truth, it was a very good team with many good players, yes, they had a lot of luck, yes, they used to park the bus and they didn’t play beautiful football, but when they had to play football, attacking, possession-based football, they knew how to do it, we don’t .

    Simeone is stubborn, but he is not stupid, he is a very smart person, and I’m sure he has realized that his methods are not working very well and a change is needed, but is he able to make that change ?! or does he know only one way to play ?!
    Will see .

    Another very big problem with Simeone that not many people have addressed, and that really need to be solved, especially with the extra 70 million we will get starting from next season is his failure at signings .
    I will not mention any of the names of last season, but let me say this :
    This season we spent 55 million on 2 strikers, but neither of them was even on the bench last night .
    Except Grizi & Oblak, the backbone of this team all were here before Simeone, maybe he made them better, but they were good before him .

    This is not the end, this is just the start, we will win the champions league .
    My only regret will be if Gabi, Torres, Juanfran & Godin aren’t there when we win it, because they deserve it .

  • Koke

    I agree with just about all of this. At the beginning of the season a lot of us didn’t even imagine a champion’s league final, or finishing 3 points from the Liga trophy. Not necessarily out of pessimism or lack of ambition, but because this was always going to be a transitional season for Atleti. We lost so many key players in the past two years and made a lot of new signings, promotions, and returning players from loans. Oliver, Correa, Vietto, Jackson, Lucas, Savic, Carrasco, Thomas, Augusto – so many players that weren’t here before last summer! Even many the “veterans” of this team have only been here for two seasons or less – Torres, Griezmann, Saul, Gimenez, Oblak, Moya… What’s more is that so many players in our squad are still so young. Imagine if we keep these players for 3-4 more years and they actually build more chemistry, get better, and Simeone learns from his mistakes and allows them to play free flowing attacking football… mouthwatering. Atleti are already among the top 4 teams in the world, they proved it for sure this year, and we’re just getting started. For a “transitional” season, we definitely did incredible things by making it to the final. Idiots after 2014 said that final was our last chance, we’d never make it so far again, blah blah blah. I kept saying that it’d be a few years at most before we were back in the finals and look what happened. Now I will say with certainty again that we will reach another final soon – maybe next year, the year after, or two years after. But it will happen. This team is capable of beating Barca, Bayern, and Real. There’s absolutely no reason we can’t get this far again.

    If those older players you mentioned aren’t here when we win, I’ll also be very sad. That’s the biggest loss; I have too much respect for Juanfran, Gabi, Torres, and Godin. These men are HUGE pieces of our history and deserve a CL.

  • Koke

    Our Champion’s League campaign this season got us a lot of money, respect, and fandom this season. Almost everyone, I think, besides Real Madrid fans and casual Ronaldo/Madrid admirers was rooting for us, and in every footballing website I see more and more Atleti supporters each day. Better, more famous players will be more eager to join us now more than ever; they’ll be able to sense our likelihood of titles and realize that there are very, very few better clubs in the world right now. Our current players will be less likely to leave than ever, not only for the aforementioned reason but also because they are so damn committed thanks to Simeone’s cult mentality. Add to that the La Liga money and the imminent signing (I hope) of Gaitan and whomever else and I can see every reason for us to be optimistic for the future. It really hurts a lot now to see us lose the final again by a matter of inches/seconds, but I think 6 years ago few if any of us could have imagined that we’d be considering a season a bad one for not winning the League or Champion’s League. Next season will be an unprecedented one for us, I can feel it.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    One of the interesting things about the CL is that it has many patterns, like no team can win it 2 seasons in a row, and like the repeated finals with one season in between :
    Milan- Liverpool 2005 & 2007
    Barca-Man Utd 2009 & 2011
    Atleti-Real Madrid 2014 & 2016
    And one of the patterns is that some teams have reached 3 finals in a short period of time :
    Real Madrid in 5 seasons : 1998, 2000, 2002
    Milan in 5 seasons : 2003, 2005, 2007
    Man Utd in 4 seasons : 2008, 2009, 2011
    Bayern in 4 seasons : 2010, 2012, 2013
    And all of them have won the title at least once in those 3 finals .

    I’m very optimistic .

  • You’re welcome buddy, see you next season. Hope to finally meet you!

  • Confession time: I cried like a motherfucker when Carrasco equalised. The guys next to me were wondering what the fuck had happened to me…

  • David Zeft

    Michael , I too appreciate Los Colchaneros and live in the suburbs ,just outside of Philadelphia. There not many of us in this area. I gathered some neighbors and family and watched the final at a local restaurant. Your right about the website . The articles plus the feedback are quite informative. They were nice to retweet a photo that I tweeted to them . It was of a young neighbor and myself wearing our Atletico jerseys , along with my grandson stretching an Atleti scarf. They also displayed it in the previous article on this site. It was a tough defeat. Pepe showed what a jerk he is with his feigning injury on the pitch . The last thing any Atletico fans want to see is a bare chest Ronaldo running around after the last PK goal of a match. Feel sorry for Greizmann and Juanfran. Griezi carried us during much of the season and Juanfran’s assist on Carrasco’s goal was a beauty. Will be cheering cheering Godin and Gimenez with Uruguay down at the Linc in June. Maybe we can hook up next season and catch a couple of Atletico’s matches. David

  • AndersAT

    It makes sense that a generation of players at a club is gaining experience in playing CL matches and the result is multiple CL finals in a short period of time. i don’t see why this team can’t get to the final again next year. This team lives for the cup games against big opponents.

  • KC

    Do you even understand what you are watching? Torres was the decoy, he made run after run and did not get service. he opened up space for Griezmann all night. He won a penalty, Griezmann missed. Torres was double teamed all night. No one took advantage of the space he created. Torres played very well the 2nd half of the year. I am so tired of people criticizing him when they dont even understand what they are watching.

  • Michael Beer

    I assume Nick would be proud to learn that this great website matched some Philly-area Los Colchaneros supporters. I have successfully converted a small group of close friends to the Red & While fold (aided by giving each an Atleti scarf I bought for them outside the Calderon last month)!!! Yes, we should get together next campaign. Feel free to email me David: [email protected]. I live in the W. Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. How great to learn of more local supporters. This website is superb! Thanks again Nick and all others!! Michael

  • Michael Beer

    Thanks for your honesty Nick. I still can’t read the post match reports other than what I read on this website. It hurts too much. That RMA goal was offside and I’m sick about it. Arggghhhhh!!!! Michael

  • atleti10

    Listen you are clearly a massive Torres fan which is great, I’m a fan too.

    However, I want to see Atletico achieve first and foremost. Torres isn’t going to score 25+ goals next season. He doesn’t have the pace to play as an advanced forward in a counter attacking team.

    The vast majority of people agree he didn’t have a great final. As much as it pains me the majority consensus is not wrong here.

  • Kris

    I understood Torres’ role in the game. It was strategic of Simeone to play both Griezmann and Torres in an advanced role than usual. Torres was probably told to conserve energy just for those runs that he’s able to make behind defenders. It didn’t work too well because Pepe and Ramos were too good and there was no plan B.

    Man, you can believe whatever you want. I still love Torres and he has a huge role in Atletico next season as well, just not as the primary striker. We are a European elite once again, thanks to the current group of staff and players in our team. Two CL finals in three years isn’t a fluke. To keep improving, we need the best players in the world. Torres should still play next season , but because he can’t guarantee us 25+ goals a season, he shouldn’t have to be the striker we rely on to score goals every game.
    But if he is able to score 25+ goals a season, fuck it man, play him all the time. I don’t care. I just want a striker who will score goals, at least, every other game.

  • KC

    I am a huge fan, no doubt, but I am very realistic about his finals performance. It was serviceable not great, but he did win a penalty. We just didn’t convert and it cost us the game.

    Who scored the away goal vs Barcelona that allowed us to advance? Who assisted on the Griezmann winner against Bayern? How soon we forget. To say Torres is not good enough, was not instrumental in us getting to the final is a joke. Always over criticized and under appreciated! He is used to it.

    Griezmann is our 25+ goal attacker, not Torres. Torres is not the focal point and shouldn’t be. We are not Barcelona, we won’t have (2 or 3) attackers with 25+ goals with the tactics we employ. Torres is not the player he was 10 years ago, but still is a good fit with Griezmann. Griezmann needs space to be effective and Torres creates that for him. If Torres can score 12-15 goals as the side kick, then great.

    I hope we sign another Top striker, we need it. But a lot of people were saying Jackson and Vietto were going to better than Torres. Lol.!! How did that work out?