Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone conceded that he would have committed the same foul as Federico Valverde that played a huge part in rivals Real Madrid clinching the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia.
The Uruguayan midfielder, who had already booked, was given a straight red in the closing stages of the final at Jeddah’s King Abdullah Sports City on Sunday night.
With Alvaro Morata through on goal at the end of extra-time and poised to win the match, Valverde caught up with his opponent at the edge of the penalty area before chopping him down from behind.
The match eventually finished 0-0, with Madrid going on to triumph 4-1 on penalties. Although Valverde's final contribution was incredibly cynical, Simeone did not blame him. In fact, the Argentine could be seen offering words of comfort to the player as he headed for the tunnel. Valverde, 21, was later voted man of the match.
"It was the most important moment of the game," Simeone said about the foul. "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 Valverde won the match with this action."
Madrid had dominated a large part of the showpiece in Jeddah, but as the game grew more open both sides could have snatched the victory. In the end, Saul and Thomas Partey missed in the shootout, while Dani Carvalhal, Rodrygo, Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos all converted for Madrid.
Asked the sum up the match, Simeone said: "We started quite well in the first 20 to 25 minutes. Real Madrid improved in the final 15 minutes of the first half. In the second half, the situation was changing hands. They had chances, but we were always well positioned with various good attacks on their goal."
"The most important moment was Valverde, who took a fair decision for his team and he prevented us from having a goalscoring situation that could have decided the game."
Speaking afterwards, Valverde said: "My colleagues have supported me. It was sad. If I showed [the man of the match award] to everyone it would be uncomfortable. I held it."
"I was very angry that I left the team with one player less. But they supported me, which is something very nice."
"I want to recognise Simeone, who also came over and said some words that I won't say. But I want to highlight it because nobody does it."