Competition
  • Europa League

Why Atletico Madrid deserve to win the Champions League

Tomás (Roncero), let's take our hats off and give the Champions League to the people who deserve it: these two sets of fans. They're unique. Exemplary in their rivalry, and today I'm sure that they will once again prove themselves worthy neighbours. It's clear to me that our greatest weapon as Atleticos is this wave of emotion and belief, Atleti has lived for too long in the shadows of the celebrations at the Bernabéu. We were cut from a different cloth, and for that reason Luis (Aragones) and especially Simeone, have become our mirrors and the measure of our dreams.

Cholismo has brought us back to where we belong. As a team, as a club, it's clear to us that we're better, but I still have butterfly larvae in my stomach thinking about Zidane's individuals and the people around them. Sooner or later Madrid's patron saint San Isidro has to cast off that white shirt and give Atleti a hand. On merit alone we deserve it. If 'big ears' comes back to the Calderón, we'd be the only Spanish team to win the full complement of all three major UEFA trophies: UEFA Cup, the Cup-Winners Cup and the Champions' League.

I'm not going to puff out my chest on whether we're better or worse. I'm an Atletico and am going to live this day in Milan with pride. If today isn't the day, we'll be back and we'll try again, that's in our genetic code. We've already passed our trial by fire when we fell into the hell of the second division, where we beat all previous attendance and season-ticket holder records.

We're not going to lose the run of ourselves or cause a scene if luck is against us. We know that we're on a winning runaway-train with Simeone in the driver's car and that sooner or later the Champions League will come. The important thing is that the team 'gives its heart and soul for the crest' as the Spanish say, for the crest, for the jersey, and above all, for the fans.