Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has claimed his former club Atletico Madrid deserved to win the Champions League more than eventual champions Real Madrid.
The final between the two Madrid clubs saw Real prevail 5-3 in a penalty shoot-out after the match ended 1-1, but De Gea, who left Atletico to sign for United in 2011, claimed Diego Simeone’s were the more worthy winners.
Atletico beat Bayern Munich, holders Barcelona and PSV on their way to the final, whereas Real defeated Manchester City, Wolfsburg and Roma – a run that De Gea claimed was less challenging for Zinedine Zidane’s men.
“I think the Atleti eliminated very complicated rivals and probably deserved to win the competition more than Real Madrid,” he told AS.
“I did not cry but I suffered from the outset.
“Atletico have suffered greatly in recent years. They have not had the luck they deserved, but they have to keep believing in the club and the team they have.”
De Gea made 69 appearances in his two season as a first team player at Atletico after emerging through their youth system, and the club remains close to his heart.
“I have spent many years there and the club is a fighter,” he said.
“Atleti gave me everything. They helped me to play at European level and that I will always carry in my heart.”