Cape Town - Atletico
Madrid boss Diego Simeone had nothing but praise for his eliminated
side as they defeated Real Madrid 2-1 in their Champions League
semi-final second-leg clash on Wednesday night.
Real progressed to the June 3 final with Juventus as a result of their first leg 3-0 win to claim a 4-2 aggregate result, but it didn't stop Simeone from expressing his pride.
Saul's 12th minute opener at the Vicente Calderon was quickly followed by an Antoine Griezmann penalty to give the hosts real hope of overturning their first leg deficit, until Isco's away goal on 42 minutes.
After the match, Simeone said: "I am happy and proud. We competed one more time and demonstrated why we have fought in the best positions, along with Real Madrid and Barcelona, for five and a half years.
“The first 30 or 35 minutes of the first half will stay in the memory of people and, yes, the opposition possibly took advantage of defensive disorder to score, but those moments and the magical nights that happened in the Calderon will stay in the memory."
He added: "We gave everything, and have spent six years giving our lives. It is a shame we have players that we can’t clone, the years go by and they can’t stay at the same level, but I remain proud of the difficulty that the all-powerful Real Madrid - champions of the world - had in this match.
"It’s a success of the club, to have enjoyed five and a half years growing enormously… it’s clear that it’s not easy to always stay on the same trajectory, but today is an important day, even if we have ended up eliminated."