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Juanfran thanks Atletico fans after Champions League final penalty miss

Reuters , Monday 30 May 2016
Atletico's Juanfran Torres misses a penalty during the Champions League final soccer match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Saturday, May 28, 2016 (AP)

Atletico Madrid right back Juanfran has thanked fans for the support he received following his penalty shootout miss in Saturday's Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid.

The defender's effort rebounded off the post before Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winning spot kick to hand Real their 11th European Cup in Milan.

Spain international Juanfran was in tears and did not speak to the media after the match but on Monday he wrote a letter on the club's official website.

"I will never forget your displays of affection when I came to ask for your forgiveness," he said.

"Seeing my tears reflected in the faces of the thousands of Atleticos that packed that end of the stadium helped me cope with the tremendous sadness I felt in those hard times."

It was the club's third defeat in a European Cup final, and their second in three years at the hands of Real.

"I also want to thank you for always believing in us and, above all, for proving that being an Atletico is something very special, different and that our heart beats stronger than any other," said Juanfran.

"Two years ago I told you we would return to a final. Now I tell you Gabi, our captain, will lift the Champions League sooner or later and we will celebrate it all together."

Juanfran is expected to be named on Tuesday in Spain's squad for next month's European Championship in France.

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