On Thursday afternoon Diego Pablo Simeone was presented as new coach of Atlético de Madrid.
He was presented to the press by Enrique Cerezo and José Luis Caminero in a press conference at the Vicente Calderón.
Simeone put pen to paper on a deal that ties him to the Manzanares club until the summer of 2013.
The 41-year old was escorted by his wife, sons – including Giovanni – and his new assistant, Germán ‘Mono’ Burgos.
Cerezo welcomed the prodigal son – who starts his third spell at the club, but his first as manager – and spoke of yet another cycle for the club, which we seem to go through at least twice most seasons.
“I was so fortunate to be at Atleti while Diego was a player and now I’ve got the luck to welcome him as new coach of the club. Welcome home.”
“Today is a happy day for all Atléticos, because with his appointment we are starting a new cycle at Atlético de Madrid”, the club president added.
“He was here during a glorious time, he’s one of the heroes from the Doblete and, most of all, we believe that with his great character we can be where we want to be, among the top teams in Spanish football.”
After he received the best of luck by Caminero, the floor was then given to Simeone. He started by thanking the people that have given him this opportunity, before speaking about his new challenge.
“I’ll always remember my time here as a player. It’s an enormous honour to return here as a coach and I’ll give the team the arms to finish la Liga in the best possible position. The responsibility is huge and I know that comes with a big club like Atlético. It doesn’t scare me, on the contrary, it motivates me.”
“We’re looking for the best way to make the players that we have available function. I want to see an aggressive, strong, combative and determined team.”
The Argentine coach then spoke of his players, who he’ll first meet on Thursday.
“I’ll start by talking to them, to try and solve the weaknesses shown by the team and to build on the good things that have been done. There are always good things to build on. We strongly believe in these players that we have available.”
When asked about José Antonio Reyes, who is still a target for Sevilla, the Argentine said:
“Two or three days ago we talked with the directors and Caminero. I think that Atlético has very important players, like Reyes, Arda, Adrián, Falcao and Diego. They are all at this club and they all deserve attention.”
“I like players who want to be at the place where they work so hard for to get.”
“We talked, we want to have the best [players] available and Reyes is a major player. I hope we can resolve this situation and that we can make use of all that players we have.”
A big challenge awaits Simeone, as his first match in charge is the away trip to Málaga. The coach will make his debut on the bench on the 7th of January in La Rosaleda.
A lack of mental strength and character has often seemed exactly what Atlético lacked these last years. Do you think that “Cholo” Simeone will be able to create a well functioning machine out of all these prima donnas?