Atletico says goodbye to Calderon with 3-1 win over Athletic

MADRID — Atletico Madrid earned a 3-1 win over Athletic Bilbao in an emotional final game at the Vicente Calderon Stadium on Sunday.

Fernando Torres scored two goals early in the first half and Angel Correa added another in the second as the hosts said goodbye to the stadium where it has played for the last 50 years.

The result left Athletic in seventh place and without one of the two spots for the Europa League next season. Villarreal secured fifth place with a 3-1 win at Valencia, and Real Sociedad ended sixth after scoring late in a 2-2 draw at Celta Vigo.

Villarreal finished with 67 points, three more than Real Sociedad and four more than Athletic, which can still qualify for Europe’s second-tier tournament if Barcelona beats Alaves in the Copa del Rey final next weekend. Barcelona is already playing in the Champions League next season and doesn’t need the Europa League berth.

Third-placed Atletico also had already qualified for the Champions League, along with fourth-placed Sevilla, which will have to go through a playoff to get into the competition’s group stage.

Atletico next season will move into the Wanda Metropolitano, a modern 68,000-capacity stadium on the outskirts of the Spanish capital.

It has played since 1966 at the Calderon, which will be demolished to give way to a modern housing complex.

“It’s hard to express our feelings after a day like today,” Torres said. “We have a lot of memories here, a lot of things went through your mind. It’s been 50 years of a lot of happiness in this venue. It was an honor to be part of it.”

The Calderon will still host the Copa del Rey final on Saturday, and a day later an exhibition match involving former players will officially close the venue.

The nearly 55,000 fans who packed the Calderon stayed at the stadium long after the final whistle on Sunday as the team organized a series of tributes for the occasion.


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