Marseille boss Rudi Garcia admitted his side missed Dmitri Payet after he was forced off in the Europa League final defeat by Atletico Madrid.
The skipper left the pitch with a hamstring injury on the half-hour mark and Garcia believed it was a turning point in the match.
The winger had been a doubt for the final but Garcia chose to start with him, despite the French player having worries about his fitness beforehand.
“I opted to start with Dmitri, one of our best players,” the Coach told reporters.
“When he went off we missed him, particularly from set-pieces, because if Atletico do ever concede it sometimes comes from dead balls.
“We hoped he would be 100 per cent and he had a fitness test on the morning of the game. He was worried about playing and whether he’d be able to kick well enough.
“He didn’t aggravate the injury during the match, he just wasn’t fully fit, but in games like this you have to take risks.
“If we had played with everyone at 100 per cent then we could have been at our maximum, although I think the score was too severe. But the best team won, the one with most experience, and they are a great side.
“I think we made the Marseille fans proud and managed to get a large part of the French public behind us. I’m proud of my players because of that and we’ll try again next year,” promised Garcia.
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