ATLÉTICO DE MADRID - BAYERN
Reina: “It's true, football owes Atlético a European Cup”
“I really like this Atlético side because they're all for one and one for all. Whether they win or lose, they do it together; their comradeship is extraordinary”.
Right from the moment the draw was made, you've been in the spotlight without wanting to for that 1974 final appearance against Bayern...
Yes, that's right, but I don't mind. The first thing I'd like to say is that I hope this time the balance tips in favour of Atlético. El Cholo's team is very strong, they really believe they can beat anyone and that's important.
What do you remember of that 1974 European Cup final in which Atleti were seconds away from winning?
It was a European Cup final, you are just seconds away from lifting the trophy and you think you're going to do it. We didn't for sheer bad luck. The only goal I let in during the competition took the game to a replay and ensured we didn't end as champions.
That Bayern side were feared by the rest of Europe, and that Atlético was also a strong side...
Nine of Bayern's players were first choice with the West Germany national team who later that year went on to become world champions. But we put in a great game and we could perfectly have beaten them in that final.
That Atleti was also a very united team and the current Atlético under Cholo is also based on team work rather than individual talent...
—I really like this Atlético side because they're all for one and one for all. Whether they win or lose, they do it together; their comradeship is amazing and that produces an atmosphere of happiness and great satisfaction among the fans.
Those fans have been waiting 42 for this moment, and there's a sense of getting one back over Bayern... If Cholo's men make the final, will that debt be paid off...
Let's hope so! That would make everybody really happy - the fans, the team, those players from '74... I have to say, I love watching this Atlético.
Do you think football owes Atlético a Champions League?
Oh yes. That happened with us and again two years ago in the final in Lisbon. Football owed us one European Cup, it's true.
You spent many years at Atlético but are always remembered for that incident in Brussels (some claim Reina gifted his gloves to a photographer behind the goal before Georg Schwarzenbeck's last second equaliser)
They said all kinds of things about that final, but the only truth is that that Bayern defender struck the ball well and it went in. The worst player from that team had a lucky strike and the ball entered.
Lets return to the present day. Is there reason to feel optimistic?
A lot of reason. When Atleti were drawn against Barcelona everyone was saying Luis Enrique's side were the clear favourites. This Atlético is capable of anything.
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