Saturday, May 26, 2018

Juanfran has ´no fear´ of penalties ahead of Europa League final

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 14 May 2018

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Atletico Madrid right-back Juanfran insists he is not afraid of taking a penalty against Marseille, despite hitting the post from the spot in their 2016 Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid.

The Spain international was the only player that failed to convert in the penalty shoot-out after a 1-1 draw, as Atleti failed to beat their rivals in the showpiece for the second time in three seasons.

But the 33-year-old is adamant there will be no mental scars should he need to step up in Wednesday’s Europa League final against Marseille in Lyon.

“If the coach tells me to take one, I will take it. I have no fear.” Juanfran said to Marca.

“I have taken two penalties for Atletico. Against PSV I scored and it was all happiness. And in the final [against Real Madrid] I hit the post and it didn’t turn out well.

“But I have no fear of anything if I get to take one.

“I had to take one and that’s how it went. These are decisions that have to be made in life and I always move forward, I have no problem.

“But we didn’t lose the Champions League final only because I missed the penalty.”

Juanfran also asserted that his star team-mate Antoine Griezmann is unfazed by the persistent speculation over his future, and is fully concentrated on the task at hand in his native France.

“My family and friends ask me [how Griezmann is] but I always think he’s doing well; happy, happy,” he added.

“We are together, I don’t see that any differently. It is normal that there is so much commotion because he is Griezmann, one of the best in the world, who is a key player for us.

“But he is focused on being among the best in the final.”

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