Diego Pablo Simeone. A miracle worker and the finest of artists, who elevated Atletico Madrid higher than anyone could imagine, is finishing his masterpiece. Atletico lost to Levante today, but Real also only drew their game, so the Colchoneros are still in front and are holding their fate in their own hands. But, even if they fail in winning a trophy this season, they deserve every single word of praise for their remarkable achievements. No matter how this season ends for them, a new coaching star is surely born – Diego Pablo Simeone.
Diego Simeone was a ruthless, hard-working midfielder. He was sometimes even dirty, he got booked very often, and because of his acting in the World Cup match between Argentina and England David Beckham got a red card, which ultimately gave the Gauchos victory.
He did what had to be done for victory as a player, and he does the same as a coach.
He began his coaching career in Argentina, leading Racing, Estudiantes, River Plate and San Lorenzo. With Estudiantes and River Plate he won the championships, and was hailed as a “manager by birth” by many distinguished Argentine international players. Simeone produced his own coaching style. Some could say that he is a rigid coach, since he doesn’t allow much freedom and creativity. Instead of that, he commands with great authority and every player has his strict playing tasks which he must execute. Simeone lives through his team, and you can see that in every game – he never sits tight, he always has something to share with his players, he is proactive and it even seems that he is playing with them, on the field, like he never retired.
Simeone began his odyssey with Atletico in 2011, replacing Gregorio Manzano. He immediately enjoyed great success, winning Europa League, beating Atletic Bilbao by 3 goals to 0 in the final, and Europa Super Cup with a victory against Chelsea 4:1.
Not only did he bring huge success to Atletico, he also halfved the debt Atletico had, with smart purchases and big sells in transfer market. Atletico Madrid is nearly 60 million euros in the green only from the funds made by selling players, which is a remarkable achievement in this age of big spending fees.
And the biggest mystery around Simeone is – how does he manage to sell the best players, and manage even better with their replacements the year after? Radamel Falcao was the best player and striker Atletico had in the last few seasons. He was sold to Monaco for a record fee, and after that, Diego Costa took his place. The man who was on loan at Rayo Vallecano, and a backup player after he went back to his parent club, became a rock solid striking force after Falcao’s departure, maybe even more lethal than his Colombian precedent. So lethal that he set off a fight between Spain and Brazil for the right to claim his allegiance! And when the reigning world champion and the most successful football nation are fighting over you, that means something.
When we see how much money other “big” managers such as Mourinho and Ancelotti spend, it is really a matter of alchemy how Simeone manages to build such a team from players which came to Atletico for a very low price.
For example, the most expensive player in this team is Arda Turan, who was paid 13 million euros. Felipe Luis had similar price – 12 million euros. Some of the irreplaceable players in starting lineup, such as captain Gabi and defender Godin, came for free! Just like the “joker” who often arrives into the game from the bench, Adrian. Koke is the poster Atleti child; and the most wanted player in Europe at the moment, Diego Costa, was transferred for a silly price of one million euros to Valladolid. In fact, the worth of transfers of Atletico first team players combined is less than what was paid in order for Gareth Bale to transfer to Real Madrid last summer.
And we will see very soon if Simeone is that good of a magician if he manages to beat Real Madrid in the race for two trophies. His “cheap” team winning against the Royal club would make for a perfect Cinderella story.