End of an era for Atlético Madrid as curtain falls on Vicente Calderón

Atlético’s famous old stadium witnessed its last-ever European night in familiar company and with a familiar outcome, but with fans unbowed and in full voice

The first roll of thunder hit with two minutes left on the last-ever European night at the Vicente Calderón. The rain poured off the roof and through it too, swirling in the sky. Soaked, they sang through the storm. They sang high in the north stand, where Real Madrid’s supporters celebrated being in the final, and they sang everywhere else, where Atlético Madrid’s fans celebrated just being. On the touchline, Diego Simone frantically punched the air and conducted the crowd. Out, but not down. Not beaten, either. Not this time, the last time.

Before this game, a huge mosaic stretched along the open side of the stadium had declared: “Proud not to be like you [Real]”. After it, Simeone echoed those words. When he eventually appeared, he was beaming. “Why?” he was asked. “I’m happy, proud,” he said. The supporters had been too: for the fourth time in four years, Real had knocked them out of Europe, but the buildup to this game had been about identity, loyalty, emotion, something less tangible, not just results. “Tell me how it feels,” the Bernabéu banner had asked; Atlético had responded by telling them that they wouldn’t understand. They appeared determined to prove as much, the noise deafening.

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Source: Football News
Link : End of an era for Atlético Madrid as curtain falls on Vicente Calderón

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