Football

Diego Simeone bitter but not sad after defeat

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After an emotional match for the Atletico Madrid boss, Diego Simeone stressed he was 'bitter, but not sad' as his side were defeated 4-1 in the Champions League final by Real Madrid on Saturday.

The effervescent 44-year-old was fuming on the sidelines after Real scored in the five added minutes of second half stoppage time with Sergio Ramos’ headed equaliser cancelling out Diego Godin's opener and sending the match into extra time.

Simeone’s frustration boiled into extra time in which he repeatedly harangued the referee about the second half stoppage time.

Things really came to a head, however, when, Simeone stormed on to the pitch after becoming riled by Madrid defender Raphael Varane seemingly provoking the Atletico bench by kicking a ball into the dugout following Cristiano Ronaldo's late penalty.

"I don't feel sad," the Argentine said after the match. "It's bitterness that I feel for not reaching my goal. Now the calmness is stronger and it has overcome this situation.

"The match ends when the referee wants, I've nothing else to say on the matter. Hopefully this will provide Varane with experience and he will learn. He's a great player with a great future."

The 4-1 scoreline undoubtedly flattered Madrid with Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Ronaldo all scoring in extra time, but Simeone acknowledged that his team grew weary as the game progressed at Estadio da Luz.

"Real Madrid were better in the second half of the game" he added. "We were all tired but they got a little better.

"I tried to tell my team that they remained competitive throughout the match and I am always proud of my players - they fought until the end with a lot of humility.

"We were locked in the middle of the pitch with nowhere to go and that makes things very difficult. Football is marvellous for that. At times, it teaches us that winning is everything and it is the most important.

"Losing is not worthy of a tear, we need to keep our heads up and prepare for next season. It is part of the game but obviously you have the two situations. But we gave everything and other people know that Atletico can compete.

"We're working for the best. We won a marvellous Liga, which is day to day and we came close to an international competition, which is good for business."

Simeone also drew criticism for starting a clearly unfit Diego Costa, a pre-match doubt with a hamstring injury, and the forward’s substitution after nine minutes left Simeone with a lack of reinforcements in the latter stages of the game, something Madrid capitalised on.

"The responsibility to play Costa was mine," he added. "I was wrong but he was not in the good condition that we saw yesterday."

Simeone is right to focus on the positives of Atletico’s season and it is important that the players acknowledge what an incredible year they have had.

Simeone, however, will be incredibly disappointed after narrowly missing out on a truly historic night for Atletlico and will be more determined than ever to continue his destruction of Spain's footballing duopoly. 

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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