Gregorio Manzano believes his former club Atletico Madrid could be an alternative to the hegemony of Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The 56-year-old was axed as Atleti boss in December last year after a 1-0 home loss to Albacete saw Los Rojiblancos, who were 10th in La Primera at the time, dumped out of the Copa del Rey.
Even so, Manzano feels his successor Diego Simeone may now possess a team to challenge the big two, while he also had kind words to say about another of his former clubs Malaga.
“La Liga has started positively [for Atletico] and the points earned so far sees them in second place behind Barcelona and in front of Real Madrid.
“It is my understanding that they can now be an alternative to the power of the two greats of Spanish football,” he said at a charity event in Jaen organised by the ONG Mensajeros de la Paz, or Messengers of Peace.
“As for Malaga, they were sensational last year after a fourth place La Liga finish and they’ve also had an excellent start after winning their opening game [at Celta Vigo].”
Manzano revealed that he has received several offers to return to coaching, particularly from abroad, but has rejected them all.
“I didn’t consider any of the offers important enough and I prefer to wait and see if anything else comes up,” he explained.