Ecstatic Simeone urges final hero Griezmann to stay

Gabi ready to eat words after branding Europa League 'a load of s***'

French striker Griezmann, who is likely to join Barcelona this summer, scored twice in Atletico's final win over Marseille in Lyon on Wednesday night.

This will be Diego Simeone's fourth major European final since taking charge at Atlético in 2011/12 - the Argentine has lost both of his Champions League finals, but did win his only previous Europa League final in 2011/12.

"I think the expectation in Marseille and across the country is quite extraordinary and our motivation comes from that", said Dimitri Payet, who is confident of being fully fit after a minor muscle injury.

Atletico will be bidding to win Europe's secondary competition for a third time when they face Olympique de Marseille in Thursday's final in Lyon, France, having been knocked out of the Champions League in December by finishing third in their group.

"You need your best players at their best level in this kind of game", Marseille coach Rudi Garcia said.

Marseille will compete in their third UEFA Cup/Europa League final in this game, while they're looking for their first victory following defeats to Parma in 1998/99 and Valencia in 2003/04.

The 27-year-old Griezmann, who collected the man-of-the-match award, declined to discuss whether he would stay or leave Atletico at the end of the season. In spite of mostly being a passenger in the early days of the season, Griezmann finished with 29 goals and 13 assists in all competitions (a spectacular return of 6 goals and 2 assists in just 8 Europa League appearances).

Both his goals were very coolly taken, with careful finishes which gave his worldwide teammate and Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda no chance to save. "This is the second, after a Supercopa, and I hope I can win more trophies".

"It's hard to explain how happy I feel after so much time, it was a dream I've always had since I was a child", Torres told reporters.

Real Madrid are also in the Champions League final against Liverpool at the Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex, Kiev, Ukraine on May 26.

Several of Marseille's players were in tears after the final whistle, undone by a player who was turned down by several French clubs when he was a youth because of his diminutive stature.

"Now is not the time to talk about my future".



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