Atletico Madrid under Diego Simeone are challenging the existing hierarchy in Spanish and world football. Since Simeone’s arrival in 2011, Atletico have been on a resurgent run, winning at least one domestic or European trophy every season.
The secret for this resurgence is down to their inspirational manager, Diego ‘Cholo’ Simeone. The Argentine has managed to challenge the Real Madrid-Barcelona duopoly in Spain on a shoestring budget. Inspite of losing his best players to bigger clubs with more resources each year, (Falcao, David de Gea, Arda Turan) he manages to keep up a consistent level of performance.
Simeone has won the Europa League, the Copa del Rey, the UEFA Super Cup, and the La Liga with Atletico. While his passionate and inspiring presence has resulted in quite a few touchline suspensions, it has also led Atletico to the Champions League semi-finals and within one point of leaders Barcelona in the La Liga this season.
Simeone is often seen pumping up his players and riling up the Vicente Calderon crowd to even higher decibel levels, prompting highly motivated performances on the pitch.
He demands complete dedication to the cause of winning; winning at all costs if need be. One famous quote sums up his philosophy and expectations from players is, “effort is non-negotiable”. We list a few quotes which sum up the inspirational qualities of the charismatic Argentine coach.
1) Simeone is a fighter
Former Atletico Madrid team-mate Patxi Ferreira spoke glowingly of Diego Simeone’s strong character and leadership capabilities saying, “Diego Simeone is the kind of person we want to be in a war.”
Patxi played with Simeone during his stint with Atletico where they won the La Liga and Copa del Rey in 1992.
Simeone comes across as one of the most passionate coaches in world football today. Players swear by him and are willing to give their all to win. He inculcates such a fierce team spirit that the players take to the field like they’re going to war.
Lunging into tackles, making unbelievable blocks and running themselves into the ground, they do not give an inch to the opposition and are often an impenetrable wall in front of their goal. There is an unbelievable unity in the squad which is apparent when the team enters the football pitch.