Sales of Juanfran shirts at Atletico Madrid’s club shop have increased eightfold following his penalty miss in last week’s Champions League final against rivals Real Madrid.
The full-back was the only one of nine takers to miss his spot-kick, striking Atletico’s fourth penalty against the post before Cristiano Ronaldo wrapped up a 5-3 shoot-out win.
Juanfran, understandably, appeared distraught in the aftermath of the defeat but his club’s supporters have rallied round the player.
The popularity of the Spain international’s number 20 shirt has “skyrocketed” since Saturday’s final, according to Marca, and is now in as much demand as those of Fernando Torres and Antoine Griezmann.
Juanfran walked over to the Atletico supporters alone after Ronaldo’s winning penalty to ask them for forgiveness and, in turn, received an ovation.
In an open letter to the fans penned the day after the final, the 31-year-old thanked them for sharing his grief and promised that the club would soon win the Champions League.
“Two years ago, I told you that we would return to a final, now, I tell you that Gabi, our captain, will lift the Champions League sooner or later, and we will celebrate it all together in Neptuno,” he wrote.
A stoppage-time Sergio Ramos equaliser for Real denied Atletico the first Champions League trophy in their history two years ago, with their rivals going on to win 4-1 in extra time.
Los Rojiblancos are the only club in the history of the European Cup to play in three finals and not win the competition, having also suffered defeat in 1974.
Real’s victory last week in Milan was the 11th European Cup triumph of their 114-year history.
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