SPORTS - Real Madrid secures La Decima
It all came down to a man on the post, or the lack thereof.
With 92 minutes gone in Lisbon, Atlético Madrid had defended with characteristic diligence, proving formidably unyielding—as they have done almost all season—as Real Madrid desperately searched for an equaliser to cancel out Diego Godin’s headed opener.
Then, at almost the last possible moment, it arrived. In the 93rd minute Sergio Ramos again rose highest to meet Luka Modrić’s corner, sending it low to Atlético goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois’ right and into the net.
If there had been a man on the post, right now it would be Atlético’s players and staff being vaunted for perhaps the most remarkable season of the modern era.
As it is, their hopes effectively died with the intervention of Sergio Ramos.
On the face of it, Saturday was not a day for the football purist. Hours after QPR defeated the youthful, ambitious and adventurous Derby County in brutal, last-minute fashion in the richest game in football, earning a £125 million promotion to the Premier League that the club would perhaps have struggled to survive without.
Then, at the Estadio da Luz hours later, a side that has spent over a billion pounds in the 12 years since their last European glory finally clinched the vaunted Decima, at the expense of the club that has almost always lived in their shadows—a team that was forged rather than bought, nurtured rather than compiled.
"The supporters should be proud of an excellent season, they shouldn’t waste a single second being sad. Once you’ve given your all, you can’t go around licking your wounds."
Diego Simeone (Coach of Atlético Madrid)
To win the Spanish title, considering the duopoly enjoyed by Real and Barcelona, was remarkable and will rightly be remembered and revered for many years to come. Simeone was integral to that. He produced such an impressive team.