Diego Simeone must be held in the same regard as Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola

Diego SimeoneVery few can claim to have had the better of Real Madrid in their career. One of those men is Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone. He is unbeaten in his last six Madrid derbies with Atletico, and since arriving in the city, has put a stop to the Real dominance. This is something not achieved by a manager in the red side of the city this century, and has proved that Simeone is one of the best managers in the world.

On Saturday, Antoine Griezmann’s goal early on in the second half secured Atletico’s third consecutive La Liga win at the Bernabau, making them the first team ever to do so. Many managers at the likes of Atletico, Valencia, and even the great Barcelona have come to Spain and failed to conquer Real.

Simeone’s management skills have changed the face of Spanish football, removing the stigma that the La Liga title is fought for by just Barcelona and Real Madrid. Given the financial status of Spain’s two biggest clubs compared to that of Atletico, it makes there rise to join the pair even more impressive.

As a player, Simeone was remembered more for his role in getting David Beckham sent off at the 1998 World Cup than his successful time at Atletico and Inter Milan. He now has the reputation as a passionate, no nonsense manager with the tactical nous to bring down Europe’s giants.

His achievements in the 2013/14 season will be remembered as his greatest, where against all the odds his side won the La Liga title, with a 1-1 draw at the Nou Camp enough to secure the trophy. Atletico also went on an incredible run in the Champions League, where they beat Barcelona and Chelsea on their way to the final, and were unfortunate to lose to Real Madrid in the final after conceding a last minute equaliser.

What cannot be underestimated in this run is the role of Simeone. While Pep Guardiola took over a team full of some of the top players in the world, the Argentinean Simeone took control of a club which regularly sold its top players, including the likes of Sergio Aguero and David Villa.

He has put together a team that shares his enthusiasm and passion on the pitch, but with the discipline and talent capable of taking apart some of Europe’s top sides. This is something that has continued this season, with Atletico sitting second in the league, above Real Madrid, and below only Barcelona.

Simeone has proved since arriving in Spain as a manger in December 2011 that he is at a similar level to Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho, and perhaps, even better.


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