Former Atletico Madrid defender Toby Alderweireld has hailed Diego Simeone as ‘tactically the best Coach he has ever seen’.
The Southampton loanee helped Los Colchoneros to a first La Liga title in almost two decades last season, and he felt the Argentine's undying commitment to winning set him aside from the rest of his fellow trainers.
“I think [Ronald] Koeman loves to have the ball more. We love to play a little bit more beautiful football but the organisation has to be good otherwise you can’t make goals,” he told the Telegraph.
“They are similar in their organisation, but Simeone was a little bit more tactical in a different way and Koeman is more, ‘How we can beat them, how can we have the ball possession?’
“Simeone makes a team, team, team. Nobody’s more important than the team. If you think you are [more] important, you go out, no matter who it was.
“There was one thing: winning. Simeone doesn’t care. Just winning. No matter how ugly it was: winning, three points, go home. Tactically, I think he’s the best coach I have ever seen.”
Alderweireld then lavished praise on his ex-Atleti teammates Diego Costa and Thibaut Courtois, both of whom now represent Southampton’s Premier League rivals and forthcoming opponents Chelsea.
“[Diego Costa and Thibaut Courtois] are the best players in the world,” he added.
“I’m not surprised about how well Thibaut has settled, because he speaks all the languages and is one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
“It is very difficult to stop Diego because he is fast, he is strong, he has technique. He can score goals, is good with his head, so I have to be at my best.
“For sure, I’m really happy. I’m really enjoying Southampton. They are very professional, they are going to the top with their own philosophy.
“Maybe next year. You never know. I don’t say yes, I don’t say no. I’m just focusing on the moment now.”