Atletico Madrid earned a fabulous 1-0 victory at Mestalla on Saturday afternoon.
Los Rojiblancos travelled to Valencia knowing that three points would take them level with league leaders Real Sociedad with a game in hand and did just that.
Atletico have been imperious so far this season, with many plaudits coming coach Diego Simeone‘s way due to the defensively solidity and attacking fluidity of the team he’s built.
For Simeone, however, it was a bittersweet afternoon.
There was a moment of silence before kick off in remembrance of Diego Maradona, the Argentine footballing legend who passed away at the age of 60 on Wednesday.
Simeone played with Maradona at Sevilla and with Argentina, and he broke the moment of silence by applauding his compatriot, team-mate and friend.
El Cholo, muy emocionado, rompe el minuto de silencio por MARADONA con aplausos al Diego.
— Tiempo de Juego (@tjcope) November 28, 2020
It was a touching moment, with the Argentine visibly close to tears as the big screen at Mestalla showed a picture of Maradona in his pomp, at the 1986 World Cup he won almost single-handedly for his country.
Simeone is of a select group who were young enough to grow up watching Maradona and old enough to play alongside him.
Speaking after Atletico’s draw with Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday, he articulated his feelings.
“I’ll remember the times I was able to be close to him,” Simeone said.
“He always acted fantastically with me, he looked after me at Sevilla when I was really young.
“He showed me what the national team was and what it felt like to play for Argentina. He was and is the best in the world”.
"Maradona is football."
Diego Simeone on his former Argentina and Sevilla teammate Maradona 💙 pic.twitter.com/DwJxoOuwvJ
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 25, 2020
Featured image courtesy of Twitter.