Monday, 24 September, 2018

Europa League was crucial to Atletico revival - Simeone

Diego Simeones Atletico Madrid lost Champions League final in 2014 and 2016 Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid lost Champions League final in 2014 and 2016
Rita Gibson | 16 May, 2018, 11:08

Atletico won the Europa League in 2010 and 2012 but lost Champions League finals to Real Madrid in 2014 and 2016. They have two ways to qualify for next season's Champions League - by winning this tournament or by finishing third in France, where they are now fourth and a point behind.

With Payet set to shake off a thigh injury that kept him out of last Friday's league draw with Guingamp, Marseille's task will be somewhat easier than it would have been had their captain, who revealed he plays the role of dressing room joker to help him relax before big games, been sidelined.

"Payet dictates the team's rhythm with whatever comes into his head and the speed of his feet".

Fernando Torres has claimed that spearheading Atletico Madrid to the Europa League final has minimised the feelings of "knowing that my career is over". "They came out of the Champions League while we came through the Europa League qualifiers", said coach Rudi Garcia.

Not only do Atleti boast a solid defence, they also have Antoine Griezmann and Diego Costa in attack, two players capable of taking advantage of even the slimmest of chances.

Marseille vs. Atletico Madrid in UEFA Europa League final: Live updates, TV channel, how to watch online

Atletico have had plenty of heartbreak in European finals down the years, as have Marseille.

But, after rousing wins over RB Leipzig in the last eight and Salzburg in the semi-finals, Marseille and their passionate fans are now dreaming of glory on home soil.

They are also driven by the desire to win a second European trophy, just as the club marks 25 years since beating AC Milan in the 1993 Champions League final. "For a player, when Barca want you, it makes you feel important, but he knows that he is important for us and that we want him here". "Of course, that's an added source of motivation, and if we do win the final, our names will be written into the club's history books forever". "Their coach has done a great job".

The Los Rojiblancos however, have not beaten a French club in France since September 1961, when they won 3-2 at Sedan in the first round of their triumphant European Cup Winners' Cup campaign. "They are clear favourites but we will do everything to create a surprise", winger Florian Thauvin told sports daily L'Equipe.

A big rivalry has developed in recent years between the clubs, and there will be 1,250 police officers deployed in the city and around the stadium.

WOW launches London-Delhi flight via Iceland
Low-priced airline Wow Air has announced flights to India from its Icelandic hub, the airline's first destination in south Asia. A Wow Air flight will take off from Delhi in morning hours and will take about 11 hours to reach Reykjavic .

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