Diego Simeone believes Atletico Madrid have accounted for two of the world’s best three teams to reach the Champions League final.
Atletico overcame defending champions Barcelona in the quarter-final, before Antoine Griezmann’s goal at Allianz Arena on Tuesday eliminated Bayern Munich on away goals following a 2-2 aggregate draw.
Simeone acknowledged it has been a hugely impressive campaign from his team and was particularly proud of their response to a brilliant first-half display from Bayern.
“This Champions League has been spectacular and very difficult,” said the coach.
“We have overcome two of the three best [teams] in the world, going through difficulties and suffering.
“In the first half we saw a tremendous Bayern, with pressure, speed and intensity. We were up against the best team I have faced in my career.
“Their first half was fantastic, with us providing a minimal response to the situations they created.
“In the second half it was no longer the same match, it was more even. We countered well, scored a goal and were closer to capitalising on our advantage from the [Vicente] Calderon.”
The outcome could have been very difficult had Thomas Muller converted a first-half penalty, while Fernando Torres was also unable to score from the spot in the closing stages for Atleti.
Simeone was well aware how difficult it would have been for his side had they gone into the break 2-0 down.
“The two penalties were key at the time because of what they transmitted,” he said.
“If they had scored theirs it would have become very difficult. And for them it would have cost a lot if Torres scored.”