ATLÉTICO DE MADRID

Simeone: "'Cholismo' is winning, that's the only way I know"

Simeone tells 'Récord': "Atlético de Madrid is my place in the world right now. I'm not the kind of coach who has strict and set ideas on football"
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Simeone: "'Cholismo' is winning, that's the only way I know"

Diego Simeone sat down to chat with Mexican daily  Récord about his first ten years as a coach. The Argentinean reflected back over his managerial career as well as the current state of play with the Rojiblancos. The dramatic change in Atlético's fortunes since his arrival has not gone unnoticed by many of Europe's top clubs but El Cholo says, for now, he's happy where he is: "Atlético is my place in the world right now; during my playing career I was a bit of a nomad - since the age of 20 I've been travelling the world and playing and coaching in different places. I've always said that your place in the world is where you feel most comfortable. You could be in a fantastic place but not feel happy and that says to me that you're not in the right place for you".

El Cholo was asked about the different coaching methods and philosophies he has encountered and the men behind them - Menotti and Bilardo, Guardiola and Mourinho: "Both versions are fantastic, each one of them has their own vision and none are better than the other. My style revolves around trying to extract the very best from every player I have in the squad. I'm not the kind of coach who has strict, set ideas on football, The idea is to win, I don't know any other way. It's also about finding the best characteristics of each player out on the pitch to reach the final objective, which is to win".

Simeone freely admits that the best environment for his style is within the set-up of a national team: "That's where you are able to choose the players. At club level, you have players who are under contract who were there before you arrived - players that you haven't chosen yourself. If you were coach of say, Barcelona's players, you're not going to play in the same way as you would if you were in charge at Inter".

He says that he is no different from the majority of coaches in that he is very hard-working: "Apart from having good players, I have an important coaching team. I am completely frank, we make sure everything is always crystal clear and when I like something, you can see it right away. I try to explain that football goes beyond playing well or badly with the ball - it also transmits feeling, and competition. Having talent is one thing but it's not only about what you do with the ball at your feet. There are no bad players; at this level, every player is good. There are ones who make the right decisions and others who are naturally gifted".

To end, El Cholo pinpointed a few differences between the European game and that played in Mexico, and the contrast between European and Latin American footballers: "With European players, you can't inject the same aggressiveness, personality and intensity which Latin American players have; we play from the heart - that's not to say that here players don't play with their hearts. Latin players train in one way and play another way because they give everything out on the pitch. In Europe, kids start with technique, controlling the ball ecetera from a young age. The first thing they want to see in a Latin American player is that they can dribble past half of the opposing team, but they don't see that those moves usually come to nothing. Here, in Europe, a player comes along, makes two passes and plays better as a result".