We once again showed Europe that there are small victories even in the toughest defeats. Despite not being able to make it into the semi-finals, we proved to be a hard nut for Manchester City to crack; we had them on the ropes until the very end of the tie. With just the one Kevin De Bruyne goal standing between both clubs after the first leg, we all thought that there was a chance to cause Pep Guardiola an upset. And why not? It wouldn’t be the first time: the 2016 Miracle in Munich was at the back of all our minds. If we were able to pull it off at the Allianz, surely anything was possible at the Metropolitano?
The atmosphere in the city was superb from early on in the day. We already knew who our rival would be if we made it to the semis and, even with our history against Real Madrid in the Champions League, we wanted a chance at revenge.
However, it wasn’t meant to be. Even with one of the best atmospheres that the Metropolitano has witnessed in its short-lived history, there was no miracle to be pulled off this time. But that didn’t matter because as soon as the referee blew the full-time whistle, the decibels in the stadium only increased. Not a single soul left their seat. We outsung the travelling City fans and made sure that our players knew we were thankful to them for trying until the very end, defending the club they play for. Some of them were visibly moved to tears.
There’s a saying amongst us Colchoneros: “El Atleti se entiende más con la vida que con el fútbol,” which means something along the lines of, “Atleti represents life more than football.” It may seem like a silly quote but sometimes it can feel that way, especially when defeat manages to move you more than even the most incredible victory. So, be it life or football, we may lose but somehow, in our hearts, we also win.