If you look at this decade alone and name 5 brilliant managers surely one of them has to be Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone. The Argentinian has been in charge of Atletico since 2011 and has achieved some incredible results with the perennial underdogs.
In a league such as La Liga that contains the two best teams in world football in Barcelona and Real Madrid his achievements with the club cannot be underestimated. He has won 7 major trophies with Atletico which includes the title win of 2014 and the team have got to 2 Champions League finals- both lost to their eternal nemesis Real Madrid. But in Copa del Rey’s and the Super Cup they have also exacted their revenge. They have knocked Barcelona out of two Champions League campaigns and this season have already beaten Real Madrid 4-2, and let’s not forget their 2 Europa League titles.
Under Simeone Atletico are experiencing their greatest achievements and no matter what happens he will go down as a legend with the club. And he still has pulling power- that’s most of the reason that French World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann has stayed with the team, even when Barcelona have come calling and would easily spend £100m on the player. Simeone has made Atletico believe that they are invincible and for the most part his fantastic managerial tactics have been spot on. However after 7 years, which will be 8 years in 2019 in charge, is it time for Simeone to leave the club?
At just 48 Simeone does have time on his hands, at least another 20 years at the top but surely if he doesn’t leave Atletico soon he could become the forgotten man. He has won everything with the club apart from the Champions League, but he has nothing left to prove, and yet he still searches for more trophies. It is clear that he wants to add another Spanish title to Atletico’s history and of course make up for the two final losses in the Champions League. But he should be free to walk if he so chooses.
The time feels right for Simeone to branch out at pastures new. The Premier League has shown hints of wanting him to coach over there, how Manchester United perhaps could use his services right now. Arsenal were reported to be interested a few seasons ago but that has gone with Unai Emery in charge now. Over in Italy there is Inter Milan who have struggled since Jose Mourinho left the club in 2010.
If Simeone wants to be known as one of the greats, well you can’t do a Sir Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger anymore. It makes sense to leave and prove your worth elsewhere. What is sure is that the lucky team that gets the pleasure of working with him, will surely benefit, and yes it could well be the saddest day in Atletico Madrid’s history when he finally does decide to leave, but leave at one point he must.