They did it! In what could be described as a bit of a rebuilding year, Atlético Madrid still managed to add a major trophy to the case with their decisive victory over Marseille in the Europa League final on Wednesday. You can check out the full write up here. The result was a cathartic one for a team that has had its share of growing pains this year and struggled early in European competition.
As you can imagine, the party back in Madrid was in full swing — especially when the players paraded around Neptuno on Friday.
Now to the news.
- Griezmann uncertainty weighing on club leadership
It should come as no surprise that Antoine Griezmann put in a Man of the Match performance given his sterling form for the club this season. However, uncertainty about his future has begun to weigh on manager Diego Simeone and club officials. Simeone had this to say after the match.
“Griezmann today confirmed what he has been doing year by year. He was decisive in the most important moment in the game.
“I hope that he is happy to play for us. He’s played three finals with us and won two. Now we are in the UEFA Super Cup, so he could play four finals with us. So on a sporting level we aren’t so far from the clubs that have more power than us.”
Club CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marín was more blunt in his comments.
“[His choice is] if he wants to make history at Atlético Madrid where everything revolves around him or go to a club where he will never enter history.
“If he decides that he does not want to continue with us, we have to respect his decision.
”I am not optimistic or pessimistic. I do not know what will happen, it is not a decision for him to say after the final.”
It is perhaps telling that both men acknowledged the draw of bigger clubs—in this case Barcelona, who have made their interest in Greizmann obnoxiously clear. But each also called attention to the major role Griezmann has played and would continue to play in growth and progress of the club should he stay.
- Atlético charged due to fan behavior
One unfortunate footnote to Wednesday’s final came in the form of “racist behavior” on the part of Atlético’s contingent of traveling fans. UEFA have formally opened an investigation into an offensive banner that was displayed during the match which allegedly contained racist language.
Both Atleti and Marseille are also facing discipline related to pyro set off during the match.
Kieran Tierney - Atlético are said to be sending a contingent to Scotland to scout Celtic left back Kieran Tierney, as his Hoops beat Motherwell in the Scottish Cup final on Saturday. Tierney is considered one of the top young talents in the Scottish system.
Anthony Martial - A fresh report from AS suggests Atlético may be interested in Manchester United striker Anthony Martial. AS also suggest that United may be interested a swap deal that would see Šime Vrsaljko dealt to the Red Devils in exchange for Martial.