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Atletico Madrid star Griezmann: Simeone just like Ferguson

17 May 2018

Three thoughts on Atletico Madrid's 3-0 win over Marseille in the Europa League final.

The Ligue 1 side, who defeated Austria's Red Bull Salzburg in the semifinals, are playing in their first European final since 2005, when they lost in the Uefa Cup to Valencia. "But I think we have the attacking quality to do so", the France worldwide said.

"They are a big club, a super team with great players and a great coach". The time to stop harping on about past glory and deliver another trophy has come, especially after a pair of UEFA Cup final losses in 1999 and 2004. While they won Ligue 2 in the subsequent season, they were forced to spend a second year in the division after filing for bankruptcy.

Yet they have the chance to change the course of their future at the Groupama Stadium.

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"Atletico against Marseille, Payet against Griezmann, Rudi Garcia against Diego Simeone, and the fans...it should be a great final". "This is a club who have played two Champions League finals in the past four years, a club that won the Europa League not long ago", said Garcia, reminding that a final played in France constituted a "fantastic" opportunity.

"This is our first full season with Marseille and we did not expect to reach the Europa League final or qualify for the Champions League", the club's president, Jacques-Henri Eyraud said. Meanwhile, the subsequent rise of their domestic and, in PSG's case, most hated rivals has led to Marseille fading into relative obscurity.

Atletico coach Diego Simeone has opted for Angel Correa instead of Thomas Partey across the middle, meaning Koke will start on the left of midfield. "No French side have ever won this trophy; it would be fantastic if we could be the first".

"I am sure we will be the same and I'm sure we will return to another final to try to win again", he said. However, two of those wins came in this season's UEFA Europa League round of 16, when they beat Athletic Club home 3-1 and away 2-1, the latter their first success in Spain at the seventh attempt.

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Marseille's hopes of staging a comeback against a famously resolute defence were dealt a further blow within minutes when Dimitri Payet, the former West Ham star, had to leave the field through what appeared to be a hamstring injury.

"You learn a lot under (Simeone)".

"He has a contract and we want him to stay".

For Atletico, the match is another shot at putting things right in a decider after failing to get over the line in the 2014 and 2016 Champions League finals.

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Useful facts: Les Phoceens and Los Rojiblancos will lock horns for the third time in all competitions when they clash in the Europa Cup final on Wednesday evening.

Atletico Madrid star Griezmann: Simeone just like Ferguson