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Class Of Atletico Fans Shines Through In Rather Sad Open Letter From Juanfran

Gavin Cooney
By Gavin Cooney
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Atletico Madrid have a fairly extraordinary relationship with European Cup finals. They have competed in three: 1974, 2014 and 2016. In 1974, a last-minute goal by Bayern Munich - Atleti's goalkeeper was Pepe Reina's father, and was apparently distracted by a photographer behind the goal - led to a replay and a crushing 4-0 defeat. Two years ago, a last-minute equaliser to Sergio Ramos in 2014 led to a 4-1 extra-time defeat. The weekend heralded another crushing defeat to Real, this time on penalties.

Juanfran was the man who missed the crucial penalty in the shoot-out: his clanging of a post allowed Cristiano Ronaldo's most appalling display of vainglory yet, and afterwards he wandered towards the Atlei fans to beg for forgiveness:


Juanfran was clearly moved by the response by the Atletico fans, who rose as unison to applaud him in what was arguably the most gut-wrenching moment in their club's history. It was written in Spanish and published on the club's official website, and one kind Reddit user has translated it into English. Prepare to choke over this Juanfran open letter:

Comment from discussion Juanfran Open Letter.


We hope that Juanfran and Atleti will recover. The defender should really not accept all the blame: had Antoine Griezmann scored his second-half penalty, or Jan Oblak decided to actually dive for four of Madrid's penalties, things could have been ever so different.

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