Fede Valverde will always occupy a special place in the hearts of Real Madrid supporters after his actions on Sunday night.
The Uruguayan midfielder produced one of the most cynical fouls you’ll ever see to prevent Atletico Madrid striker Alvaro Morata from scoring deep into extra-time in the Spanish Super Cup.
Morata was through on goal with only Thibaut Courtois to beat. If he’d scored, Atletico probably would have gone on to lift the trophy. But Valverde took one for the team, earning himself the red card with a hugely controversial tactical foul.
Atletico’s players were understandably incensed with Valverde’s actions and made their feelings clear to the South American before he was sent off by referee Jose Sanchez.
Valverde had no complaints. He knew the red card was coming and accepted the decision.
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Atletico boss Diego Simeone was filmed on the touchline looking flustered after the incident.
Nobody was quite sure how the fiery Argentine coach would react when Valverde made his way past him to the tunnel at the King Abdullah Sports City stadium in Jeddah.
But Simeone’s reaction summed him up perfectly.
Simeone wasn’t mad at all. In fact, he respected Valverde’s actions. He would have done exactly the same thing.
He gave the midfielder a pat on the head, despite the fact this was the player responsible for denying Atleti a goal.
Simeone then praised Valverde, who still managed to pick up the Man of the Match award after Real Madrid won the penalty shoot-out, in his post-match press conference.
"It was the most important play,” Simeone was quoted as saying by Marca. “I told him that anyone would have done the same in your place.
“I think the prize for the best player makes perfect sense in the world because Valverde won the match in that action."
Trust Simeone to admire Valverde’s sh**housery - even though it cost his team a trophy!
Valverde certainly appreciated Simeone’s response and told reporters: "I will always cherish the words that Simeone said to me today. I’m happy for the win but not for the kick I gave to another player.
“I wish I could've pulled his shirt instead. My teammates congratulated me for my sacrifice for the team not for kicking someone."
He can expect a hostile reception the next time he enters the Wanda Metropolitano, but it seems Valverde has at least gained a fan in Simeone.News Now - Sport News