Simeone leaves the door open on Inter rumours

Argentina boss confirms that he'll be at Atleti for opening of La Peineta

Atleti still looking for their first win of 2016/17

Atleti still looking for their first win of 2016/17

The media frenzy around Atlético Madrid continues as coach Diego Simeone has been something of the club’s lightning rod in the wake of his side’s poor start to the 16/17 campaign.

Atleti has started the season with just one point in two consecutive games against newly promoted sides Alavés and Leganés, and many have questioned whether Simeone’s demands are now falling on deaf ears.

Furthermore, reports from Spain claim that the Argentine, who is under contract until 2020, could be willing to leave before that. On Wednesday,  El Confidencial and El Chiringuito reported that the former Estudiantes coach has already planned to leave in the summer of 2018 to Internazionale Milano, the club he played for from 1997 to 1999.

simeone-inter-1997

While fans of Los Rojiblancos could take this news as unreliable, or react in anger, they shouldn’t be surprised by the potential destination. In fact, Simeone spoke of his desire to one day manage the Italian club back in April of this year.

“We’ve exchanged a few words on the phone and as I’ve always said, and I have no fear of saying it again now, one day I will return to Milan because I did well there and left a great memory there, and I have the objective of going back as coach,” he said.

This wasn’t the only Simeone-related news on Wednesday, however, as Simeone told reporters of his wishes to stay with the club to see their new stadium, which is scheduled to open for the start of the 2017/18 season.

“We have a beautiful stadium we’re moving into next year and I hope to be here for that. When I came here I was very optimistic about the club’s fortunes and I still am, and that’s why I’m here,” Simeone told reporters as he promotes his new autobiography, ‘Creer.’ 

Speaking of the new ground, the 67,000-seater stadium is actually the old Estadio La Peineta, a former athletics stadium, and will hold over 10,000 more fans than the Vicente Calderon. The Rosas district of Madrid will call the new stadium home, and it is less than a half-hour drive from the Calderon.

What do you make of Cholo’s comments? Are you worried he won’t see out his 2020 contract?


  • Koke

    I don’t know if Atleti fans will crucify me or agree with me for saying this (probably a mixture of both), but I don’t think it would be the worst thing in the world for Simeone to leave. Note: That does NOT mean that I am not incredibly grateful for all that he has done for us. On the contrary, no other man in the world could have taken us to the place that he has. None. However, while Simeone has delivered us to the very cusp of football’s greatest, I am not so convinced he can help us make the evolutions that are necessary at this point for Atleti. I think the club is currently suffering from an identity crisis. The coach has one very specific identity, and for the most part our players have a very different identity in the style they are suited for. Yes, they all have the same PERSONALITY – hard working, ballsy, never-say-never. But that doesn’t translate into a style of play.

    When I say that Simeone is pretty much the only guy who could get us to where we are now in so short a time, I mean it. On the other hand, though, I think Simeone is one of the only world class coaches in the world who could have the players he has at his disposal and still be struggling to score goals so much. Give the likes of Griezmann, Gameiro, Carrasco, Correa, Gaitan, Torres, Oliver, Koke, Saul, Filipe, Juanfran, etc to the likes of Guardiola, Bielsa, Sampaoli, Klopp, Tuschel, Ancelotti, Pelligrini, etc etc and their mouths would water. Now, I am not saying that all of these coaches are right for Atleti – I am just saying that I am sure most if not all of them could (if given enough time) create an attacking masterclass of a team, not one that relies on set pieces, mistakes, clean sheets, and luck to score goals and win games. The only question is if Simeone could do the same thing if given enough time. Well, how much time is enough time? When are we allowed to start craving a new coach? He’s evolving, yes, very slowly but surely. But we run the risk of imploding if such issues persist for too long. Players get frustrated, fans get frustrated, people want to leave, money is lost… I think after this season is over it will be more clear whether or not Simeone is the man to keep. Again, I am not attempting to be ungrateful or too demanding – I think that with the players, money, and reputation we now have, high expectations are perfectly normal, and a sign of ambition rather than arrogance.

  • I won’t crucify you, haha. But I also know based on the past two games that Simeone is trying a more expansive style, it’s just that the chances haven’t gone in goal.

  • nandes

    El Confidencial and El Chiringuito are two of the worst possible sources in Spain, but ok

  • Already mentioned they could be deemed as unreliable….

  • Already mentioned that they could be deemed as unreliable…

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    You know what @Koke, my friend, I think we should stop feeling the need to admit our respect and gratefulness to Cholo before criticizing him, I think what the other camp are doing -calling us spoiled and arrogant- is a kind of bullying, and it needs to stop .

    Of course we are fucking grateful, and of course Pep and Mourinho would have never won La Liga with us in 2014 with the players we had and against the players Real & Barca had .
    But that is history, while in the present, there are many other coaches who can finish 3rd with our budget and our squad every single season, and with playing much better than this, and without frustrating some of our best players and letting go of some of our most promising talents, and with very low prices .

    We struggled a lot in the 10 years before Simeone, but the truth is that we shouldn’t have, we shouldn’t have been relegated in 2000, we shouldn’t have finished 9th in 2009/10 while having De Gea, Antonio Lopez, Tiago, Maxi, Simao, Reyes, Forlan & Aguero, Quique & Manzano should have never managed a club as big as Atleti, and what they have done with us should never be brought into argument, it’s not like that Simeone succeeded with a club that Ancelotti, Klopp and Wenger failed with .

    Simeone gave Atleti too much, but Atleti also gave Simeone too much, so he is not immune to criticism, and we are not arrogant or spoiled to demand more, we are just well informed about our history, and about our current financial situation .
    Simeone has achieved great things, but because Atleti is a very big club, we don’t owe him anything, we don’t owe anybody anything, except one man : Luis .

    I think it’s now very obvious that Simeone needs to change, and if he can change, then I wish he stays with us for a very long time, I’m actually a very big fan of stability in the world of football, but if he can’t change, and this is the only way he knows and it’s not working anymore, the this season should be his last .

    And don’t worry, it won’t be the end of the world, we won’t be relegated as some people said before, in fact, we did hear the word “relegation” under Simeone, and from one of our own players !!
    Of course we will have a big shock, it’s not easy to replace an average coach, rather than a successful one, after 5 years, but we will be just fine, more than fine, we will be great, as long we choose a good replacement, not another Quique or another Manzano .

  • Hannu

    Not going to crucify you but just share some thoughts that came to my mind.

    Would we have players like this without Simeone and if he leaves how many of them leaves? You know some of them have said that they are here because of Simeone.

    What kind of players would be interested to come here after Simeone leaves? That ofcourse depends on who would be the coach and ofcourse Atleti as a club tempt players so I am not saying its all about Simeone but would we have player like Griezmann after PSG and many PL clubs knocking at this door with all that money and so on..

    If we think about ManU with LVG there wasnt really high interest among players to join but now with Mourinho they suddenly have Zlatan and Pogba and without even being in CL!

  • Koke

    You raise some very good points that I hadn’t given enough thought to. Yes, it’s true that Simeone is a coach under whom many players would love to play, and indeed many of our own players are so in love with this team thanks to him. That’s not to say, though, that other coaches wouldn’t be able to attract big names. I do agree that probably no other coach could replicate the cult mentality that Simeone does – the one where each player gives his life on the field. Like I say, Simeone’s personality is perfect for our team. His coaching style is pretty damn good too – at least in the way he motivates the players (I do have some issues with the way some of the players are treated, being serially benched/ignored, but that’s a separate matter).

    However, his tactics are not perfect for our team. At least not anymore. I really think that the best solution would be for Simeone to evolve, that’s the ideal, but if he cannot evolve and our results do not get significantly better, maybe it’s best to find a new coach.

    One last thing: suppose Simeone left and Antoine Griezmann leaves too because of that. It’s not like there are a shortage of players in his position in the world, or even in our squad! Wouldn’t it be better to theoretically play a worse player than Griezmann and score more goals due to better tactics, than to have a player as good as Griezmann and still be relying on lucky goals in the 88th minute against minnow teams? I don’t know if I’m articulating my point well, but basically I am saying that even if Simeone’s hypothetical departure causes some players to leave, we could play better attacking football with better tactics and worse attackers than with worse tactics and better attackers.

  • Koke

    Yes, I was very pleased both times when he brought on Carrasco and Gaitan on the sides, leaving only Koke and Saul to play in the middle. He’s definitely getting more bold in some regards. I also know that you can’t make a 180 degree turn overnight. It’s worth noting though that some of his ‘expansive’ tactics weren’t really tactics so much as desperation when his original tactics failed miserably in the first 2/3 of the game. He has still started the games with four central mids shielding the defense, which indicates that he is not as willing to enact change as some hopefuls would want to believe. I really want to think that Simeone will be able to evolve, but every time I think we’re about to see something different, we don’t. Here’s to hoping though!

  • Nuncadejesdecreer

    Those who want/are okay with Simeone leaving should be seriously careful for what they wish for. Without him we would be nowhere near where we are today, doesnt matter if we hired Pep/Mourinho/Ancelotti back in 2011, there isn’t a living soul on this earth that could’ve replicated his success. We are a big club, our financial state is improving year on year, and with the new stadium the future looks bright for the club, but we’re still nowhere near Barcelona or Real Madrid’s level of finance/attraction for world class players. 3rd is the only realistic expectation every season, maybe add in a Copa win every now and then. We shouldn’t be able to even compete for the Liga title, or have anything to say in the latter stages of the CL, and trust me, we won’t when Cholo leaves. Last year things were looking even more bleak at this stage, with Jackson misfiring, the team struggling badly for goals, and I honestly thought to myself that Cholo might not be able to take us any further. But then he took the team to 3 points off the title(head to head against Barca the difference) and the CL-final again. And he did all this with Torres as our main striker! This year, with Vrsaljko, Gaitan and Gameiro we have a deeper and stronger squad on paper and even with the transfer ban the next 2 years could be the most incredible of the clubs history.

    My biggest wish is for Cholo to guide us to the CL-trophy before he leaves, and with the best squad he’s ever worked with, I have faith that he can deliver.
    When Cholo goes, the chance to finally win the European Cup goes with him, I don’t think I could live knowing that we came so close 3 times and never won it. That would absolutely crush me.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    There is no such thing in football or in life in general as someone is the only hope and people are lost for ever after him . This is simply not true .

    Chelsea tried for years to win the CL, with Mourinho, the two times CL winner, with Ancelotti, then also two times CL winner, with Scolari the World Cup winner, but it was Di Matteo who brought them that glorious trophy .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    We did have Forlan, Aguero, Maxi, Simao, Reyes, Falcao & Costa before Simeone, and we were able to hold on them and many other big players for many years (except the last two, who left while we were under Simeone !) .
    Courtois, Miranda, Godin, Filipe, Juanfran, Tiago & Arda were also here before Simeone .
    Torres, Gabi, Mario Suarez, Koke, Saul, Lucas, Borja, Oliver and others are homegrown, so we don’t need to attract them, we just need not to push them away .

    I did say that we will suffer a shock for a while when Simeone leaves, we could have some problems, but failing to sign or to keep big names will NEVER be one of them .
    We didn’t even have that problem under Quique, Abel or Manzano .

    Note : Zlatan & Pogba were attracted by Mourinho and by the project of Man Utd, but they were also attracted by the ridiculously big salaries .

  • Nuncadejesdecreer

    That was a fluke though. Chelsea 2012 are probably the worst team to ever win the European cup. They were much worse then the Chelsea teams of 2004-2010, even worse then Mourinhos team of 2013-2015(Before the collapse). They parked the bus against both Bayern and Barca and didn’t even defend particularly well, they just relied on the opponent missing 5-6 clear cut chances in both those ties. 99 times out of 100 they would lose comfortably. Chelsea is also a club with much more financial power then we have.

    I understand that people can have their frustrations with Cholo, his style isn’t the most attractive to watch and it does have its limitations, but you have to see the bigger picture. With a more attacking philosophy we probably would’ve beaten Gijon and Levante at the end of last season but it wouldn’t have mattered because if we played open attacking football we could never compete with Real and Barca over 38 games. His tactics is THE reason we even talk about winning these big titles, not the reason we don’t win them.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    That Chelsea fluke actually supports my point, you can’t know what will happen in the future, and you can’t assume that life will end after this coach or that player .
    Portugal lost the EURO in 2004 with their best team ever, and won it this year with one of their worst teams .
    Who knows, after Simeone we could hire Klopp and he could achieve even more success, we could have another Simeone, he could be Gabi or Tiago or Perea .

    Simeone is leaving soon, in 2 or 3 seasons, he made it clear too many times that he wants to coach Inter and he wants to coach Argentina, maybe he also would like to take a taste of the EPL like almost all the big coaches in the world, so we should prepare ourselves for the “after Simeone”, not to start crying from now and say that we will never see any success after him .
    If the players and the majority of the fans have the same opinion then we are fucked .