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Federico Valverde committed the ‘greatest professional foul ever’ on Sunday night on Alvaro Morata and the Real Madrid midfielder felt he needed to apologise for it.
In the 115th minute of the Supercopa final on Sunday night, with the score 0-0 and the game headed to penalties, Atletico Madrid broke quickly and Morata was bearing down on the Real goal, one-on-one with Thibaut Courtois.
The striker didn’t get the chance to take on the strike though as Valverde lunged in from behind, took out Morata and got sent off. After the match the 21-year-old revealed he’d apologised for his actions, “I’ve apologised [to Morata]. It’s not good what I did, but I had to do that,” he told reporters when asked about the incident after the game.
“I’m happy for the trophy. When the penalties ended, I waited and I then ran [onto the pitch]. They congratulated me, but it’s for everyone.
“For those who played, those who didn’t and those who gave advice at half time. It’s a triumph of the team.”
Valverde’s actions earned him a slightly earlier bath than most of the players took but it also won him Man of the Match, for saving the game for his team before they went on to win on penalties.
The decision went down well with Atleti boss Diego Simeone who said, “It was the most important moment of the game. I told him that anyone would’ve down the same thing in his place. I think giving Valverde man of the match makes all the sense in the world because he won the match with this action.”
Both Zidane and Simeone spoke to Valverde when he came off the pitch and the former Penarol midfielder revealed they were both supportive, adding, “They supported me. I put up with a lot of anger because I’d left my team with one less player, but they were there to help me. Simeone also came up to me and not just anyone does this.”
Morata didn’t even get the chance to score from the spot during the shoot out with Saul Nunez and Thomas Partey missing Atleti’s first two chances as they lost 4-1 with Real slotting all their attempts away.
Los Blancos reached the final by beating Copa del Rey winners, whilst Atleti beat La Liga champions Barcelona, in the first four team tournament to decide the Supercopa winners.