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Atlético Madrid ended last season in some style, just missing out on a Champions League place after surging up the La Liga table and then winning a terrific Europa League final 3-0 against Athletic Bilbao with two goals from their prolific Colombian forward Radamel Falcao, the man known as “El Tigre”.
This was particularly impressive after their faltering start following the sale of many leading players last summer, including their South American strikers, Sergio Aguero to Manchester City and Diego Forlán to Inter.
This European success was the second time that Atlético had triumphed in Europe’s “second” competition in two years, as they also secured the trophy in 2010, when they dashed English hopes by beating Fulham (after overcoming Liverpool in the semi-final). That was Atlético’s first European silverware for nearly 50 years and their first trophy of any kind since 1996, when they memorably won the domestic double.
Although Atlético can legitimately claim to be Spain’s third biggest club historically, the fact remains that it is many years since ...
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