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Europa League: Atletico Madrid go from rebels to favorites against Marseille

16 May 2018

The France global has been Atletico's top scorer in every season since joining from Real Sociedad in 2014, but a constant stream of transfer stories linking him with clubs from Manchester United to rivals Real Madrid has led to him being booed by his own supporters this season. Playing Atletico is a big event for us. But this will be his last chance to finally win an elusive trophy with his boyhood club.

"But a final at home in France is a fantastic opportunity".

The French coastal side will be hopeful of making count whatever "home" comfort it can muster to claim its first major European title since 1993. "Because we need him, and he knows that we all want him to stay". "Of course, that is an added source of motivation, and if we do win the final, our names will be written into the club's history books forever".

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A world-class goalkeeper, a flashy forward and a mean striker make Atletico Madrid confident it can win the Europa League when it plays Marseille.

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Certainly it is true that there is more to Atletico's style of play than simply being solid and counter-attacking with expansive ball players like Koke and Saul in midfield, and they will be able to take the game to Marseille. It'll certainly be a tough game.

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It is 14 years since Olympique Marseille, OM, reached a European final, when they were defeated by Spanish opposition, Valencia, in the Uefa Cup. "And here we are".

Marseille are looking to continue the progress made under coach Rudi Garcia and American owner Frank McCourt, who has invested €118 million ($140 million) in the club since his arrival in late 2016. Mighty PSG may have dominated the domestic scene (they won Ligue 1, the Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue), but their involvement in continental competition ended months ago.

Atletico are heavy favourites for the trophy and it's clear to see why. Both of their previous encounters came in the 2008/09 Champions League group stage.

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Atletico lost in extra time to Real Madrid in the Champions League final of 2014, having been seconds away from victory in 90 minutes, and then lost on penalties to their city rivals in the final of the same competition two years later.

Europa League: Atletico Madrid go from rebels to favorites against Marseille