Gabi forced to eat his words on Europa League after winning final

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Having referred to the second tier competition as "a piece of sh*t" earlier this season, the midfielder changed his tune after winning the final

Gabi was ready to eat his words after Atletico Madrid won the Europa League , a tournament he branded "a piece of sh*t" last October .

Speaking after Atletico were held to a 1-1 draw by Qarabag to put them on the brink of Champions League elimination, Gabi was far from enthused by the prospect of dropping into the continent's second-tier competition.

"Today I would say it [the Europa League] is a piece of sh*t," Gabi told reporters.

"But the Europa League has given me a lot, and if we have to play it, we will [play to] win it.

However, Gabi scored the third goal as Atleti defeated Marseille 3-0 in Lyon to clinch the trophy on Wednesday, and the veteran midfielder proved far more humble.

"Now I have to eat my words," he said in quotes reported by AS . "It was a very difficult moment for everyone."

Antoine Griezmann scored twice for Atleti, who it has been reported he could leave for Barcelona when the transfer window opens. 

Gabi reiterated his hope the France international will continue his career at the Wanda Metropolitan, though.

"He has shown that he is focused on Atletico," said Gabi. "I hope he stays.

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"Of course, winning this title can help, more so because of how we have done it. It will be important in the coming seasons."

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