Diego Simeone - The man behind Atletico Madrid's success
After Atletico’s emphatic win against bitter league rivals Real, closing the gap between third and first to just four points, attention has been drawn to the man behind the success, Diego Simeone.
Reports coming from the English press suggest cash-injected Manchester City could be in-line to appoint the Atletico Madrid manager as the title slips away from the Blues after dropping points at home against Hull and now finding themselves seven points behind Mourinho’s Chelsea.
Former Malaga manager Pellegrini is under increasing pressure with the Champions League ties against an in-form Barcelona edging ever closer.
Broke the stranglehold of Real Madrid and Barcelona
It is easy to see why Man City would be keen to appoint Simeone. He has worked with a somewhat restricted budget, compared to Man City’s and Real Madrid’s in recent times, and broken the dominant force of Barca and Real who had a stranglehold over the La Liga title until last season.
With Atletico’s win on Saturday, the Rojiblancos have now won four out of the last six Madrid derbies, their last defeat coming back in May in the Champions League final. Simeone has guided and nurtured Atletico into becoming one of Europe’s best sides; a force to be reckoned with, both in the League and Champions League competitions.
Built from the back, Atletico boasted of the best defensive record in their title winning season last campaign. They also lost some of their key men from last season; goal-scoring talisman Diego Costa and first team left-back Filipe Luis both went to Chelsea with Courtois also joining them after the end of his loan deal. As well as these three, they lost other key squad players Adrian, Diego and David Villa.
Simeone might be a good fit at City, but is very happy at Atletico
Simeone spent his money wisely in the summer. By investing in the strike force of Griezmann and Mandzuckic, who have put in some fantastic performances this season, the team are not missing the goals of Costa and have helped Atletico to third position. The Argentinian manager also took a big risk and brought back former Chelsea striker Fernando Torres to the Vicente Calderon in January, who has proved people wrong and is starting to look reborn in the red and white shirt of Atletico Madrid.
Would Simeone fit in as Manchester City manager? Only time would tell if he was appointed, but it looks very unlikely. His father, Don Carlos Simeone told Spanish Radio station Radio Marca that “I don’t have the smallest doubt that Atlético and El Cholo are made for each other. He feels very comfortable, so hopefully we will have him for many more years there because I see him happy.”
Chinese Billionaire Wang Jianlin is set to invest money into the club after buying a 20% stake in the Madrid side. With an increased injection of cash and Simeone’s clever and thoughtful signings during the transfer market, the future looks good for the Rojiblancos for several years to come. Manchester City will have to look elsewhere.