Diego Simeone: Has Totally Transformed Atletico Madrid

Posted by

On this day ten years ago, Atletico Madrid took a risk by hiring one of their former players as their manager.

The Rojiblancos had gone through five managers in less than three years and had lost young players Sergio Aguero and David de Gea to the Premier League.

The squad was in poor form, sitting in 10th place in La Liga after losing four of their previous five games. So trust was placed in the relatively inexperienced boss, whose only previous managing experience in Europe was with Italian minnows Catania for a brief period.

From those unpromising beginnings, Simeone quickly formed a competitive team.

His priority was to establish a solid defence based on teenage Chelsea loanee goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and tough Uruguay centre-back Diego Godin, and that approach quickly bore fruit as Simeone’s first six games delivered six clean sheets.

Atletico fans were understandably quick to warm to the new boss, remembering him fondly as a key player in their team’s 1995-96 league and cup double.

As a player, Simeone was a tenacious, all-action midfielder – he famously described his style as “playing with a knife between my teeth” – and he instilled the same brutally competitive, win-at-all-costs mentality in his new team.

Source: BBC Sport

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *