"I am proud of the season Marseille have had, of their fans who on their own nearly filled the whole stadium, and of (coach) Rudi Garcia and what he has done with that team". "Firstly, we had the best chance to go ahead, and secondly an error from us meant we fell behind", said Garcia.
"This was just confirmation of what Griezmann has been doing year after year", said the Argentine.
"It's about more than a trophy", Simeone said.
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The stage was raced on a hilly route over 156 kilometres from the central city of Assisi across to Osimo near the Adriatic coast. Zdenek Stybar and Tim Wellens attacked and opened up a small gap late in the race but couldn't respond when Yates made his move.
Several Marseille players were in tears at fulltime, undone by a player who was rejected by several French clubs as a youth because of his diminutive stature. "There has been joy and sadness, but I am so happy".
Griezmann got two chances, one either side of halftime, and made no mistake as the Madrid team took advantage of some poor defending in the first half to send the French man in one on one with the Marseille keeper and he finished calming.
He celebrated both goals with an energetic celebratory dance from popular video game Fortnite, although he couldn't do it as well the second time around as he was quickly mobbed by teammates. They carried on anyway, and so did the game, with sections of the stadium cloaked in thick pyrotechnic smoke.
Atletico is looking to win the Europa League for the third time in nine seasons, after triumphing in 2010 and again in 2012, shortly after "Cholo" Simeone was appointed coach.
Captain Gabi added a third before the end as Griezmann won the first major honour of his career, but the win was marred by the worry that it could be the Frenchman's final game in Atleti colours.