In case anyone had any doubts, Cholismo is still very much alive, and Diego Simeone can now bask in the glory of having won his sixth title as Atletico Madrid coach.
After three seasons in which, despite competing with the best, they hadn’t won any titles, the rojiblancos savoured the win over Lyon.
“The best way to win again is to keep plugging away,” the Coach said after the game.
“We came close in two Champions League Finals, last year in the semi-finals… We lost one by two minutes, another by penalties, and we got up again. ”
“My coaching staff have been lucky enough to find a very strong group of lads, who haven’t stopped improving.
“Sitting in the stands? You feel sad, bitter and with a feeling of loneliness, but I have a very good relationship with the players and I can be at home or at the hotel and they’d walk the same way.”
“The season isn’t over yet – we need a point to secure second in the Liga and we need to do that, to show that we can compete against our rivals.
“It’s been a challenging season and I think the Europa League represents more than a trophy: it’s a victory for everything we stand for, for hard work and industry.
“We’ve reinvented ourselves in this competition, and against Arsenal, we showed what we’re all about.”
What looked like a disaster in December, when Atletico’s elimination from the Champions League was confirmed, has ended in celebration.
El Cholo has won three national titles (one LaLiga , one Copa del Rey and one Spanish Super Cup) and three European titles (two Europa Leagues and a European Super Cup).
He will fight to win the seventh, in the European Super Cup, in August.
With his eight finals and six titles as coach of Atletico, Simeone is now level with Luis Aragones, who won a League, three Cups, a Spanish Super Cup and an Intercontinental Cup.
In addition, Atletico have reached two Champions League finals (lost to Madrid) and been beaten in a Spanish Super Cup by Barcelona.
With Simeone at the helm, the rojiblancps remain a tremendously competitive outfit and fully deserving winners of the 2018 Europa League.
An incredible six years!