Federico Valverde brought Alvaro Morata down with what was a very strong tackle five minutes before the end of extra time, preventing Atletico’s striker from enjoying a very obvious scoring chance. Naturally, Valverde was sent off. Real Madrid ended up winning the title in the penalty shootout.
The tackle itself was ugly, a bit dirty even. However, it was the right decision as it saved Real Madrid from having to score the equalizer in just three minutes. After the game, both coaches Zinedine Zidane and Diego Simeone refused to add fuel to the fire and praised Valverde’s decision.
“Valverde did well because he did what he had to do. He apologized to Morata. He earned the MVP, but this is a team trophy because all of our players gave their best. They all deserve this trophy,” said Zidane when asked about the tackle.
Simeone was completely honest about Valverde’s red card as well and admitted that any other player would’ve done the exact same thing.
“It was the most important play of the game for sure. He won the game with that tackle. I told him not to worry because any other player would’ve done the same. He did what he had to do,” explained Atletico’s coach.
Valverde wasn’t proud about the tackle when asked about it after the game, but he acknowledged that he had no choice but to foul Morata if he wanted his team to win the game.
“It’s something that nobody should do because in the end we’re all colleagues. I apologized. What I did is not nice, but it’s the only thing I could do and I’m happy for the title,” said the midfielder.