Europa final likely Griezmann's Atletico adieu

Antoine Griezmann Scores As Atletico Madrid Beat Marseille To Clinch Europa League Title

After painful defeats in recent continental finals, Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid are determined to justify their status as favourites in tomorrow morning's (Singapore time) Europa League showpiece against Marseille in Lyon.

With Payet set to shake off a thigh injury that kept him out of last Friday's league draw with Guingamp, Marseille's task will be somewhat easier than it would have been had their captain, who revealed he plays the role of dressing room joker to help him relax before big games, been sidelined.

Asked if his absence will have any impact, he said: "We lived it with Arsenal, at home, when German was [watching] over the team".

"This is our first full season with Marseille and we did not expect to reach the Europa League final or qualify for the Champions League", the club's president, Jacques-Henri Eyraud said.

One thing Marseille do have on their side is experience, with Thauvin and Payet having played in the Premier League while Luiz Gustavo and Adil Rami also have plenty of big matches under their belts.


While Madrid boasts big-name forwards in Antoine Griezmann and Diego Costa, not to mention Fernando Torres and Kevin Gameiro on the bench, Marseille does not have a recognized top-class striker.

"This year we're celebrating the 25th anniversary of being the first French side to win the Champions League", Garcia said in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday. Simeone needs to improve on his record in finals, but his approach will be difference because the expectation is now on his shoulders. "For a player, when Barca want you, it makes you feel important, but he knows that he is important for us and that we want him here". We have to try and impose our style of play and take the game in the direction we want. Both teams are very pragmatic and play a similar style.

However, he said his team would be in safe hands with his loyal assistant coach German "Mono" Burgos.

"We know each other a whole life, and we understand football the same way". The way the game is poised suits him and his side perfectly; they won't get in Marseille's faces, but they can find joy on the counter attack, just as Salzburg did in the second leg of the semi, and they will be confident of lifting the Europa League crown for the third time in eight years.

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