“It’s something to which you expose yourself and you have to be prepared for life. I’m now stronger than ever. The defeat will improve us because complicated moments make you stronger for the future. I feel stronger than ever and I’m eager to reverse the situation. I feel a lot for my friends and the fans who dreamed of that trophy, but I’m sure what doesn’t kills us makes us stronger.
“I wrote the thank you letter to the fans at night the next day. I could see the support of the people. Instead of feeling bad for the missed penalty they supported me completely. I knew they were great but from that night they are even greater.
“I have only words of gratitude for our people. The feeling of being positive, that with this shirt we can go back to another final and win. We’ll keep insisting until we achieve it. I think in life if you insist and you work positively, it’ll come.
“I haven’t watched the penalty. I don’t want to see it. I know what happened. It’ll be there for the rest of my life and I’ll have to live with it and it has made me stronger. I could have hit it a little better. I saw Cristiano Ronaldo score and that we had lost, and I needed to get closer to our people and ask for forgiveness.
“We are one and I’m very proud of the union with the fans. I felt sorry for them. They were suffering like us. The feeling for the shirt and for the club is profound.”
Juanfran’s Open Letter To Atletico Madrid Fans Dated 30 May, 2016:
“Hello Atleticos, I have asked the club to address all of you through this letter to tell you everything I feel,” his missive, published on the club’s official website, began.
“I will never forget your displays of affection when I came to ask your forgiveness. To see my tears reflected in the faces of the thousands of Rojiblancos in that end of the stand helped me cope with the tremendous sadness I felt in those hard moments. As well as the support of my colleagues, coaches and all the people who form this great family.
“I also want to thank you for always believing in us and, above all, for proving that being Atletico is something very special, different and that our hearts beat stronger than any other.
“Two years ago [after Champions League Final 2014, also lost to Madrid] I told you we would return to a final. Now, I tell you that Gabi, our captain, will lift the Champions League sooner or later and we will celebrate it together in Neputono.
“I love you very much. Aupa [Go] Atleti.”