Diego Simeone hopes Atletico Madrid will always remember first 35 minutes of Real semi-final

Simeone's side looked on their way to an unlikely comeback until Isco's 35th minute away goal

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The Independent Football

Diego Simeone said that the Atletico Madrid support will always remember the first 35 minutes of their remarkable Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid, as they temporarily threatened a sensational comeback in the last ever European game at the Vicente Calderon, but also looked to the future and gave more indication that he is likely to stay next season.

There had been some doubt over whether the scale of the 3-0 defeat in the first leg would cause the Argentine to doubt his future amidst clear interest from Internazionale, but he seemed emboldened by the way they scored twice in a blazing opening 16 minutes.

Although Isco killed their hope with an away goal for Real just before half-time, Simeone indicated that his pride in their display indicated they could still progress as a club.

“I am happy and proud,” the Atletico Madrid manager said. “We competed one more time and demonstrated why we have fought in the best positions, along with Real Madrid and Barcelona, for five and a half years.

“The first 30 or 35 minutes of the first half will stay in the memory if people and, yes, the opposition possibly took advantage of defensive disorder to score, but those moments and the magical nights that happened in the Calderon will stay in the memory.”

“We gave everything, and have spent six years giving our lives. It is a shame we have players that we can’t clone, the years go by and they can’t stay at the same level, but I remain proud of the difficulty that the all-powerful Real Madrid - champions of the world - had in this match.

“We still have the feeling that we can keep improving and growing.

“I am spontaneous, and now I feel what I say. It’s a success of the club, to have enjoyed five and a half years growing enormously… it’s clear that it’s not easy to always stay on the same trajectory, but today is an important day, even if we have ended up eliminated.”