LISBON (AFP) - Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone insisted his side must raise themselves from the disappointment of being minutes away from winning the Champions League and come back even stronger next season.
The recently crowned La Liga champions look set to beat local rivals Real Madrid as they led 1-0 in Lisbon deep into stoppage time until Sergio Ramos’ header forced the game into extra time.
And in the second period of extra time, Real ran rampant as goals from Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo handed them a 4-1 win to seal their 10h European crown.
“This match doesn’t deserve a single tear,” said the Argentine.
“When you give everything you cannot ask for more. There is another team and other players out there and that is football.“Now we have to rest, relax and prepare ourselves to compete and bother the big teams again next season.
“It is part of the game. You can win, or you can lose and today it is our turn to lose but at least knowing that we have given it everything.
“This will make us better. It gives us the chance to keep improving and now the rest of the world knows that Atletico can compete.”
Simeone ended the game enraged, though, as he marched onto the field to confront Real defender Raphael Varane after the Frenchman appeared to kick the ball towards the Atletico bench.
“He booted the ball towards me and I got annoyed. That is why, he is young. I didn’t think it was a good reaction and mine probably wasn’t either.
“He is great player and with experience he will learn because he has a big future ahead of him.” Simeone said he would meet with the club’s hierarchy on Monday, before going on holiday, to discuss the possible comings and goings at the club over the close season.
One of those expected to leave the Vicente Calderon is top scorer Diego Costa, who only lasted nine minutes of the final due to an ongoing hamstring injury.
And Simeone accepted responsibility for having to replace the Brazilian-born striker early in the game for the second time in as many weeks after rushing him back from injury.
“The responsibility is mine. It was my error. Obviously he wasn’t in the conditions we thought he was in training yesterday.
“Once we realised we took him off as soon as possible because we didn’t want to waste time with a player less.”