Sports

Five key men in the Europa League final

Five key men in the Europa League final

Atletico lost in extra time to Real Madrid in the Champions League final of 2014, having been seconds away from victory in 90 minutes, and then lost on penalties to their city rivals in the final of the same competition two years later.

Atletico have already assured themselves of a place in next season's Champions League by finishing in the top four in La Liga, but Marseille, now in the Europa League spot in Ligue 1 with one game remaining, would guarantee their passage by winning the final.

"We have been speaking about him all year".

It is a blow for the Spanish side to be without Simeone, and even Marseille coach Rudi Garcia lamented his ban, but Burgos is a big enough character to ensure the Argentine is not missed too much.

"I hope he will make history with the club because, thanks to him, we are here". They have appeared in European finals twice since those heady days in 1992, losing in the UEFA Cup final in 1999 and 2004.

West Ham won't be due a charge from Marseille for Dimitri Payet reaching or doubtlessly profitable the Europa League closing due to an absence of clause in his contract.

"Griezmann is one of the best attackers in the world and he's capable of anything", warned Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda. "He will be dictating the pace of his team with his play-making", Simeone said Tuesday at a news conference.

More news: Now you can turn on/off your Pixel Buds through a triple tap

But, after rousing wins over RB Leipzig in the last eight and Salzburg in the semi-finals, Marseille and their passionate fans are now dreaming of glory on home soil.

Arsene Wenger had hoped to end his Arsenal career with his first European trophy, but Atletico knocked the Gunners out in the last round.

"We know experience is on their side".

He said: "Twenty-five years ago Marseille became the first French club to win the Champions League and we have another chance to be first forever by becoming the first French club to win the Europa League".

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.

The Los Rojiblancos however, have not beaten a French club in France since September 1961, when they won 3-2 at Sedan in the first round of their triumphant European Cup Winners' Cup campaign.


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