Diego Simeone was philosophical about Atletico Madrid’s defeat to Real Madrid in last night’s Champions League final.
Atletico were leading at half-time and maintained the advantage into second-half injury time, only for Sergio Ramos to level before the final whistle.
Madrid netted three times in extra-time as Atletico tired but after the match, Simeone, who was sent to the stands after marching onto the pitch to confront Raphael Varane, was in a reflective mood.
“We have to look in general. Madrid were better in the second-half,” AS reports Cholo as conceding, after he was greeted by the assembled journalists with a round of applause.
“We were locked. That creates a huge challenge.
“Football is wonderful for rest. Many times we are taught that winning is everything, all. This applause is a sign of support from the people that makes you look elsewhere.
“The game is not worth tears. Because when you give everything you have to have your head up and prepare for next season.”
Asked to elaborate on the incident with Varane, Simeone offered a brief explanation.
“He kicked the ball and it annoyed me. It wasn’t a good reaction and I don’t think mine was either,” he admitted.
“[Defeat] is part of the game. You can win, you can lose. Today we played the part of the losers with the tranquillity of having given everything,” Simeone continued.
“That makes a lot of us. It gives us the ability to keep growing and now people can see that Atletico can play.
“I don’t feel sadness. It’s bitter that we didn’t reach the goal that many expected. But I have the peace that is stronger and overcomes me.
“When you give your all, there’s still another team and other players. You give everything and then there’s nothing and it’s a lesson.
“That’s life and football. Now, everything, tomorrow, nothing. We’ll keep going.
“The fans are proud of the extraordinary season of Atletico. There’s no time for sadness, not even a second.
“Bitterness is different. But when you’ve given everything you have to heal the wounds, strengthen the team.
“Next year we will continue bothering and competing like we did this year. This season was a nine-and-a-half. We didn’t get the half.”
Simeone added that he will meet with the Atletico hierarchy on Monday to prepare for next season and that being League champions will help to that end.
“I always hope for the best and work for it. We won a League that was wonderful and we were close to a very nice international tournament,” he said.
“That helps us prepare for what comes next in the best way.”