Cristiano, Messi... and Simeone

Cristiano, Messi... and Simeone

We always mention Cristiano and Messi as the standard bearers of our league – the stars who draw universal interest. But there is a third figure who plays a key role in LaLiga - Diego Simeone; he creates less impact than Cristiano and Messi but he is just as influential as both of them are for his team. Cristiano and Messi make an extraordinary contribution to their teams – both, for example, supply an astonishing amount of goals; Cristiano is capable of giving the team intensity; Messi meanwhile, draws out the very best from his team mates and makes the side play. Both deliver silverware – a lot of trophies. But the impetus they give their teams is less, at least that’s how it seems to me, to the sheer drive Simeone gives Atlético week after week, game after game.

Simeone transforms Atlético

El Cholo returned to the club in December 2011, with the club in a state of confusion. And he’s just extended his contract to 2020 – music to the ears of atléticos everywhere. With his unshakable, infectious passion, self-sacrifice and rabble-rousing he’s turned Atleti into something great – similar to if not even greater to the teams of its glory-filled years – a time which is now far in the distant past. It’s been because of his spirit, good organization and leadership that Atlético have become one of the big teams in Europe (they ended last season in second place in UEFA’s ranking); they’ve also been busy modernizing the club and are ready to make an exciting leap with the inauguration of their new stadium.

El Cholo is the right man to lead Atleti into the future

Hope - that essential ingredient which every football team needs - that’s what Simeone transmits. When he and the team had the wind taken out of their sails, after that second Champions League final defeat to Madrid, the fans felt helpless. But as soon as El Cholo got his second wind and redressed the situation, the optimism instantly returned. The club needs a warrior like him to lead them into this new era. All of the available season tickets at the Wanda Metropolitano have been sold. Simeone is the right man to complete the rebuilding of a team which still boasts a handful of the principal characters when El Cholo first took the reins: Juanfran, Godín, Gabi... Atlético is in good hands. And thanks to him, so is LaLiga, who don’t have just two clubs and two names which make it so special.