Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino has revealed that Diego Simeone turned down the chance to take charge of Argentina last summer.

Former Barcelona boss Martino, himself now in charge of the Argentine national team, admits that the Atletico Madrid man was his country’s first choice for the role following the World Cup Brazil.

“When [Alex] Sabella went Simeone was the Argentine Football Association’s first choice, but he thought it wasn’t the right time and that opened up an opportunity for me,” he told Radio Belgrano.

In addition, Martino believes that Simeone should be recognised by FIFA as the best Coach of the previous 12 months, ahead of World Cup winner Joachim Low and European Champion Carlo Ancelotti.

“Today he is above them both because the pursuit of his objectives is more interesting,” claimed Martino.

Tags Argentina Simeone Tata Martino