Real Madrid 4 Atletico Madrid 1 comment: It will be a tough task for Atletico to keep their key players such as Diego Costa and Koke now

A long and painful summer awaits for the beaten side now

It took Atletico Madrid 40 years to reach a second European Cup final and it might be a similarly long wait for a third appearance with wealthy clubs set to poach the La Liga champions' key assets.

A week after Diego Godin headed the goal against Barcelona that won them the La Liga title for the first time since 1996, the Uruguayan nodded in a corner against Real Madrid in the final of the Champions League in Lisbon.

They looked set for a miraculous league and European double before Sergio Ramos equalised in the 93rd minute to force extra time and deflate Atletico, who collapsed to a 4-1 loss after the extra 30 minutes.

The effects of a limited squad finally catching up with them against a blockbuster Real lineup, clearly fresher as the game wore on.

The loss resembled their sole previous final appearance when they were denied victory in the 1974 European Cup final against Bayern Munich by a late equaliser before losing the replay 4-0.

 

Despite their remarkable successes this season, they look ahead with an uncertain future with financial limitations making it a tough task to keep hold of their star names.

The combative Diego Costa, who has been their talisman in attack this season with 36 goals, has been strongly linked with a move to Chelsea, while promising goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois could join him at Stamford Bridge if an agreement to either extend his loan deal or sign him outright cannot be reached.

Clubs have also cast admiring glances at wingers Arda Turan and Koke, who is still only 22, and while Atletico were able to cope with the loss of Colombian striker Radamel Falcao last season, they are unlikely to be able to withstand any more purging.

On top of that, Simeone's squad is full of players aged around 30 - with youthful potential looking limited.

That despite Atletico boasting one of the strongest youth academies in Spain that has produced the likes of international striker Fernando Torres and goalkeeper David De Gea, but holding on to the talent has been a problem.

Now, though, there is only sympathy in the Spanish press for Atletico, who lost the final in the cruellest of ways, and Simeone in particular.

He pushed his players as much as he could but boiled over in the final stages when he confronted Real defender Raphael Varane on the pitch.

"Simeone experienced for the first time in his short career as a coach the bitter side of a final," read Spanish daily Sport.

Having wiped away the tears of disappointment, a defiant Simeone was convinced that Atletico can come back stronger.

"I said to the players, the game today didn't deserve tears because when you give your all you have to have your head held high," the Argentina told reporters.

"We were beaten having done our best. This means that we will grow from this. It puts us in a position to continue competing and the opposition know what they are up against."

Suggested Topics
Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser