Atletico victory 'for Luis Aragones'
Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone believes Luis Aragones would have enjoyed the bravery and character shown in his former side's 4-0 win over Real Sociedad on Sunday -- a result which took Los Colchoneros three points clear at the top of La Liga.
• Alvarez: Goodbye to Aragones
Aragones passed away early on Saturday morning, with tributes pouring in from everyone in the Spanish football community for the man who guided La Roja to the Euro 2008 trophy -- laying the path for subsequent victories at the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.
As a player and coach “El Sabio de Hortaleza” was most associated with Atletico, for whom he scored 172 goals in 372 games as a forward between 1964 and 1974, before managing the first team for a record 407 official matches.
In a unique and moving tribute during Sunday's game Atletico fans remained silent for the first seven minutes of the action, then burst into cheers and salutes during the eighth minute of the game -- marking the shirt number Aragones used to wear for the club.
Current Colchoneros boss Simeone told his postmatch news conference that Aragones would have been proud of the performance put in by his former team in what was an emotional night for all Atletico fans.
"When a man like Luis leaves us, there is pain and sadness, but today was emotional with the fans," Simeone said. "I got emotional during the silence in the first eight minutes of the game. That is the nicest thing that is left for the family. It shows what great respect there was that he was remembered in all the grounds around La Liga.
“Today he will have watched, from above, dressed in rojiblanco and happy for the valour shown, because he is a brave guy, with character, and this team has both those things."
Aragones had been laid to rest at Madrid's Tanatorio de Tres Cantos earlier in the day, at a ceremony attended by many former teammates and leading figures in Spanish football.
Spain's sports minister Miguel Cardenal, La Liga president Javier Tebas, Real Madrid director of institutional relations Emilio Butragueno and Community of Madrid president Ignacio Gonzalez were all present at the Calderon for Sunday night's game, as were former Atletico players Adelardo, Garate, Ufarte, Abel Resino and Aragones' former assistant Jesus Paredes.
Atletico won the game with goals from David Villa, Diego Costa, Miranda and returning playmaker Diego Ribas.