ATLÉTICO

Atlético Madrid: Why is Diego Simeone called 'El Cholo'?

Most Argentinean footballers and coaches have nicknames but what is behind Simeone's? What does El Cholo mean and who gave him his nickname?

Atlético Madrid: Why is Diego Simeone called 'El Cholo'?
SERGIO PEREZ REUTERS

Argentineans love nicknames - and especially when it comes to football. Some of the great Argentime players and coaches were known by their nicknames (El Pulga, El Loco, El Fideo, El Ratón, El Piojo...). Atlético Madrid coach Diego Simeone also has a nickname, a strange one because El Cholo doesn't actually mean anything - it's not a shortened way of saying Diego nor is it related in anyway to his surname, Simeone. So where does it come from? The great man explained himself in an interview with El Larguero's Manu Carreño.

Cholo Simeone

Olé, olé, olé, Cholo Simeone

“There was a player called [Carmelo] Simeone during the 70s, and they called him Cholo. He was a right-back who played for Boca – I think he also played a game or two for the Argentina national team," Simeone explained. "And around 1985, a coach who was called Victorio Spinetto, who was a great Argentine player – a veteran coach with us when I was in the youth team… one day he called me Cholo… and it stuck. What does Cholo mean? I’ve got no idea...”