Arsene Wenger believes that Atletico Madrid’s progression to the Champions League final offers encouragement to teams across Europe.
Diego Simeone’s side will face their city rivals, Real Madrid, in the showpiece event on May 24 after their 3-1 semi-final victory over Chelsea on Wednesday night.
Wenger says the fact they managed to do it on a smaller budget than many other clubs across the continent is “important” for the game.
"We know what that prestige policy can bring, but it's important for football as well to see that teams who spend less can be in finals as well"
“There are many different symbols in the final,” the Arsenal manager said. “First of all it shows that Madrid is really a football city. Last year we had two German teams, everybody thought it was the era of the Germans and Spain is finished. It just shows that from year to year it finishes differently.
“The second thing is the success of two different policies. One is the star policy of Real Madrid. The other one is the stability policy because if you take just now the team who played at Atletico Madrid two and a half years ago, you'll find 10 similar players exactly the same.
“The only thing that has changed is that Falcao has been replaced by Diego Costa. But all the other players played two years ago.
“I would like to pay tribute to what Atletico Madrid have done because Real Madrid [have been] 13 or 14 times in the final. We know what that prestige policy can bring, but it's important for football as well to see that teams who spend less can be in finals as well.”
Wenger admits that Atletico’s approach runs closely to his own philosophy of how a modern-day club should be run.
“Yes, because you want to think as well that success in football is down to the quality of spirit, quality of togetherness, values of the club, consistency in your attitude and not only just to splash out money,” he said.
“I'm not against that at all but it's important in the game that everybody thinks they can have a chance to be successful.”
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