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'This is different. This is Atlético'

Published: Thursday 10 May 2012, 9.57CET
From Club Atlético de Madrid chants to Athletic Club tears, UEFA.com rounds up the press reaction from Spain, Romania and around the world after the UEFA Europa League final.
'This is different. This is Atlético'
Falcao and his Atlético team-mates lift the trophy ©Getty Images
Published: Thursday 10 May 2012, 9.57CET

'This is different. This is Atlético'

From Club Atlético de Madrid chants to Athletic Club tears, UEFA.com rounds up the press reaction from Spain, Romania and around the world after the UEFA Europa League final.

Madrid-based sports daily AS leads with the traditional Club Atlético de Madrid fans' refrain "Atleeeeti", adding: "Falcao is the Europa League." Their report adds: "Atlético are champions of the Europa League. Again. What drama. Today, Atlético have their third European trophy in 24 months." Their XI may be completely changed from Hamburg 2010, but AS concludes: "Logically, this should not be happening, but whoever wants logic can look elsewhere. This is different. This is Atlético."

Meanwhile, Bilbao's El Correo takes some consolation from Athletic Club's forthcoming Copa del Rey final against FC Barcelona, but adds: "Weep, Bilbao. Shed tears in the Basque Country, in Bucharest, in the part of Argentina that is 'Bielsista', in England, where people became fans of this team after the exhibition at Old Trafford... Iker Muniain, Íñigo Pérez, Gaizka Toquero, Fernando Llorente ... All wore the faces of defeat. Tears. Destroyed. Broken. Athletic fell against Atlético in the National Arena. Goodbye to the first silverware of the season."

One Argentinian celebrating is Atlético coach Diego Simeone, and from his homeland sports daily Olé has the headline: "El Cholo hits the heights." Their report goes: "Simeone is champion of the UEFA Europa League, winning the final with authority against Marcelo Bielsa's Athletic. Cholo's boys played with more intensity."

Unsurprisingly, there is pride in Colombia at Falcao's exploits. El Tiempo's headline is: "Falcao, the master of the UEFA Europa League,",and write: "Falcao sensational! Champion and top scorer in the Europa League. He scored two of the three goals that helped Atlético Madrid to beat Athletic in the final. As a year ago in the final of this tournament in Dublin, when he scored FC Porto's winner against SC Braga, Falcao was again the star of the game and was also for the second consecutive year top scorer in the tournament with a total of 12."

Of course, a year ago Falcao was FC Porto's hero in the UEFA Europa League final and from that city, O Jogo spashes with the headline: "Phenomenal!" Their report reads: "The story of the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League final can be told in just three words: Radamel García Falcao. The Colombian dominated the game from the first whistle, scoring an opening goal that decisively influenced the whole match, allowing Atlético to play the kind of game that most suited them and take with unexpected ease their fifth international trophy."

General newspaper Diário de Notícias noted that Falcao was not the only link, with one other Porto old boy and three Portuguese in the winning side. "Falcao scored two and was the hero in a final in which former Porto man Diego capped a historic 3-0 victory against an Athletic side with no means of stopping Los Colchoneros. Party time for Tiago, Pizzi and Sílvio."

Joy too in Belgium at the performance of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. Het Nieuwsblad newspaper said he "wrote history" and added: "Courtois was seen running on the pitch with a Belgian flag after the match. 'I am a Belgian, and I am proud of it. I am an ambassador of Belgian football. I have shown that the Eerste Klasse is not a bad competition at all.'"

There was naturally excitement too where it all took place, with Bucharest staging Romania's first UEFA club final. Gazeta Sporturilor declared: "The genius forward Falcao decided it with two goals; the Bucharest final and the trophy goes deservedly to Madrid. The heart of football was beating in Bucharest and we all will remember the night of 9 May 2012."

Pro Sport added: "His trophy, our final! Falcao was fantastic in Bucharest, scored two goals and brought the Europa League trophy to Atlético. Bucharest was the European capital of football. Romania is in Europe; the trophy is in Madrid."

Last updated: 06/09/14 2.01CET

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