As Atlético's heartbeat, captain, and icon, Gabriel Fernández Arenas (Madrid, 10 July 1983) was outstanding in Milan, just as he was two years previously in Lisbon. “Did you see how Gabi played?” Simeone asked after the game. The rojiblanco skipper’s numbers speak for themselves: he managed 11 interceptions and 114 passes with an 84.2% completion rate (the player with the most touches), winning 64% of his individual duels.
The midfielder's endurance was also noteworthy as he covered over 14 kilometers, box to box, and had a huge influence on Atlético's overall performance and how they managed to claw their way back into the game. The most influential moment came as he chipped the ball over to Juanfran before the right-back delivered an inch-perfect volleyed cross for Carrasco to smash home Atlético’s equaliser. Gabi’s tears at the end reflected the collective heartache of the Atlético Madrid supporters. “We have to be proud of this team. As of tomorrow, we'll keep on working,” he said after the game.