Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
epa03212770 Atletico Madrid players celebrate with the trophy after winning the UEFA Europa League 2012 final between Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao at the National Arena in Bucharest, Romania, 09 May 2012. Atletico Madrid won 3-0. EPA/TOLGA BOZOGLU
epa03212770 Atletico Madrid players celebrate with the trophy after winning the UEFA Europa League 2012 final between Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao at the National Arena in Bucharest, Romania, 09 May 2012. Atletico Madrid won 3-0.  EPA/TOLGA BOZOGLU

Falcao on the double as Atletico Madrid win the Europa League

Diego Simeone revels in success while Athletic Bilbao's coach Marcelo Bielsa shoulders blame for loss.

A double by Colombian striker Radamel Falcao inspired Atletico Madrid to a 3-0 win over fellow Spaniards Athletic Bilbao to claim their second Europa League trophy in three seasons.

Falcao, who also became the first player to win successive Europa League finals with different sides having scored the winning goal for Porto last term, scored a first-half double to take his tally for this season's competition to 12.

Brazilian attacking midfielder Diego, who missed the 2009 final for Werder Bremen against winners Shakhtar Donetsk because he was suspended, added a third late in the second half to give Argentinian coach Diego Simeone a trophy just months after he took over the hot seat.

Atletico's victory also saw them break Barcelona's record of successive wins in European competition as they recorded their 12th to break the record of 11 set in the 2002/03 Champions League campaign.

Falcao, named after the great Brazilian footballer of the 1982 and 1986 World Cup teams, said he was especially pleased because people had advised him not to go to Atletico.

"I cannot contain my joy," said the 26 year old.

"After all that has been said, like that I made a mistake in going to Atletico, I showed them it was no mistake.

"We had highs and lows but we deserved to finish as we have done. The first goal? I didn't have an angle so I simply looked for some space.

"They told me to look for the far post from time to time, and this time I listened," he said with a smile.

"As for my future well we don't know whether Atletico will play in the Champions League or Europa League next season.

"We still have a possibility of the Champions League and we are determined to achieve that."

Athletic Bilbao's coach Marcelo Bielsa took responsibility for the defeat.

"I am disappointed, we did not play a good match," said the former Argentina coach, who guided the Argentinians to the 2004 Olympic title.

"I am in charge of the strategy of the squad who failed to achieve its objective, which makes the disappointment even greater.

"Atletico deserved their win, but the scale of it was excessive.

"The feeling of personal responsibility increases in the sense that the difference in quality of the two teams is not the one shown tonight," added Bielsa, who coached his opposite number Simeone when he was in charge of the national side.

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Glenn Maxwell's knock that followed ensured Brendon McCullum's knock went in vain after his explosive half-century took Chennai Super Kings past the 200-mark. Ravindranath K / The National

All is well with Punjab as Maxwell and Miller seal win against Chennai

The Australian missed out on a century but his 95 runs, along with Miller's unbeaten half-century, ensured Kings XI scaled a mighty peak of a target in a hot first game of Abu Dhabi's double-header.

 Sunderland manager Gus Poyet protests during the Premier League match against Crystal Palace at The Stadium of Light in Sunderland, northeast England, on March 15, 2014. Ian MacNicol / AFP

Sunderland going out of Premier League with a grumble

Northeast club have underwhelmed during seven-year stay in the top flight

 Hamburg players leave the field after the match against Borussia Moenchengladbach on March 30, 2014. AFP

Hamburg the dinosaur’s time may be up in Bundesliga

Ever-present for 51 years in the German top-flight, Hamburg face the prospect of relegation, writes Ian Hawkey.

 At 105 kg, Gabrielle Garcia has dominated the world circuit and loves many things about being in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Garcia seeks fresh challenge in MMA after her jiu-jitsu domination

Brazilian prides being a lioness in the sport but feels she can shed 25kg weight to pursue her MMA debut aspirations.

 England's Jonathan Trott hits out during the ICC Champions Trophy semi final match against South Africa at The Oval cricket ground, London June 19, 2013. REUTERS/Philip Brown

England’s Jonathan Trott sidelined with stress-related illness again

Jonathan Trott is to take a second break from professional cricket because of his stress-related illness as England and Wales Cricket Board and Warwickshire confirmed he will stop playing with immediate effect.

 Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho looks on during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at the Liberty Stadium on April 13, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

‘That’s why we are a top club’ says Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech

Jose Mourinho’s men will temporarily claim the Premier League top spot if they beat Sunderland, leaving them in control of their own destiny in the title race ahead of a crucial trip to face Liverpool at Anfield on April 27.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National