Diego Simeone spoke with Vicente del Bosque at Atletico Madrid’s training ground for an interview that was more like a meeting of minds. The Argentine spoke at length with Del Bosque – one of the most successful coaches to ever take charge of La Roja – about his life, his career and his relationship with Atletico.
“I’ve always thought that we are two privileged people who have been able to dedicate our entire lives to our favourite game,” Del Bosque said to Simeone as carried by El Pais and Marca. The mutual respect between the two great football men was evident.
One of the most interesting tidbits came when Del Bosque asked Simeone what Atletico meant to him. “Here, out of nowhere, people loved me without me having given them anything,” Simeone replied. “Every time I returned to Spain [after leaving Atletico as a player] I heard people saying; ‘there goes Cholo Atletico’. People associated me with Atletico,” he said with pride.
Born in Buenos Aires, Simeone’s first spell with Atletico was, as aforementioned, as a player. He actually played for the club in two separate stints; first from 1994 to 1997, then from 2003 to 2005. He won La Liga and the Copa del Rey as a player at what was then the Vicente Calderon.
As a coach, Simeone re-joined Atletico in 2011 and has since led the club to two La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, one Supercopa de Espana, two Europa League titles and two European Super Cups. He’s also brought the club to the final of the Champions League twice, only to lose to Real Madrid both times.