The match was important for both Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid teams. Of course, one does not need to be an expert to understand the importance of the final match. And that was the UEFA Champions League final, the most prestigious event in club football. Maybe that’s why. Two coaches of the two teams were seen worried in the dugout. Although Atlético coach el cholo (Simeone) was a fresher to Real coach Carlo Ancelotti. But Diego Simeone is not a person to give up easily. However, the match was more critical for Real and Atlético than winning the tournament.
Until then, Real Madrid had won the most (9 times) titles in the Champions League. But, it was 12 years since they won their last title. Many times with big-budget teams, Real failed to win the Champions League. Sometimes they were not even qualified into the final. That’s why it was a crucial match for Real Madrid.
On the other hand, Atletico Madrid yet to win a Champions League title. In the club’s history, before they reached the final only once. So, they didn’t want to miss the opportunity to be a League Champion.
Although Real Madrid was a giant successful team, at that season, Atlético’s performance was not bad either. Atletico stumbled at the beginning of the match. In the 9th minute, the most goal scorer for Athletico in that season striker Diego Costa had to leave the field due to injury. Despite losing Diego Costa, Athletico scored the first goal of the match in the 36th minute.
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When everyone was pretty sure that Athletico is going to win the match, then Ramos’s magic goal in injury time helps Real to turn around. In the end, Real Madrid won the tournament in extra time by scoring a goal.
Diego Simeone didn’t lose the match to Carlo Ancelotti, but his destiny.
What is the hardest job in football for a coach?
This thing varies from team to team. Such as winning the World Cup is difficult For Germany or Brazil in the world cup, where it is even more difficult for a team like Malaga to win the Spanish League. In a league where teams like Barcelona and Real Madrid play, everyone should be happy when they get third place in the league. The power gap between any other team and Real Madrid, Barcelona, is so wide that it is impossible to compete with them. But Diego Simeone may thought this differently.
As a coach, Simeone was not high-profile like José Mourinho, Pep Guardiola, Alex Ferguson, but his coaching career was not bad at all before coming to Atletico. In 2006 after starting as a head coach of Estudiantes de La Plata, Simeone led his team to get their first league title in 23 years. In the same year, Diego Simeone was voted the best manager in the Argentine league. The Daily Olé conducted that vote.
After that, as a manager, he hadn’t much success for his clubs like Atlético River Plate, San Lorenzo de Almagro, Calcio Catania, Racing Club de France Football. However, his new era began after he joined Atletico Madrid.
Simeone joined Atletico Madrid in 2011 as a head coach. In the previous few seasons, Atletico’s position in the league was very fragile.
Atletico Madrid Position before Diego Simeone
Diego Simeone didn’t do much after he got the club’s responsibility. He was satisfied with the 5th place in his first season. Maybe he was trying to figure out his team and the way to the top.
In 2012-13 season, he finished with third place in the league and also won the Copa del Rey for Atletico Madrid.
At Reals’ Home ground, Santiago Bernabéu Stadium Atletico won the title with two goals after conceding one goal against Real In the final.
This position was quite successful, considering the team of Atletico Madrid. But in 2013-14, Simeone makes his team the league champion and makes it clear that he is not a person to be satisfied with so little. That season (2013-14), Barcelona was No.1 until the 21st round of the league, and Atletico was No.3 until the 26th round. But at the end of the season, Athletico won the title, leaving Barcelona and Real Madrid behind.
Maybe this can’t describe Atleticos’ growth. An example will help you to understand this. From 2005 to 2019 La Liga title gone out of Real and Barca Only once in the last 15 years.
Atletico also won the 2014 Super Copa by defeating Real Madrid. In the 2013-14 season, Atletico Madrid not only performs excellent in Spanish League and Super Copa but also in the Champions League. Even after with a team like Porto in same group, they became group champions and advanced to the next round. Even with a relatively weak team, they reached the finals by defeating teams such as Milan (2007 champions), Barcelona (2011 champions), and Chelsea (2012 champions) in the knockout stage. You already knew what happens in the final.
Maybe Simeone was unfortunate. Despite his best efforts, fate did not cooperate with him. The situation was pretty much the same in the 2015-16 season also. They beat Barca in the quarter-finals and Bayern in the semi-finals but in the final defeated against Real Madrid in a tiebreaker.
After defeating three former champions in the knockout stage, only Klopps’ magical Liverpool won in 2019. In the last few seasons,
Champion teams hadn’t face such tough test before the final. Let’s take a look:
Champions League : Champion teams opponents at knockout stage
|2011||FC Barcelona||Arsenal, Shakhtar Donetsk, Real Madrid|
|2012||Chelsea F.C.||Napoli, Benfica, Barcelona|
|2013||FC Bayern Munich||Arsenal, Juventus, Barcelona|
|2014||Real Madrid||Schalke 04, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich|
|2015||FC Barcelona||Manchester City, PSG, Bayern|
|2016||Real Madrid||Roma, VfL Wolfsburg, Man City|
|2017||Real Madrid||Napoli, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid|
|2018||Real Madrid||PSG, Juventus, Bayern Munich|
|2019||Liverpool||Bayern Munich, Porto, Barcelona|
If you Look back over the last ten years, Atletico Madrid is definitely far behind then Barca, Real or Bayern in terms of strength. At this time in most of the matches, it would be almost impossible for teams like Real, Barca or Bayern to lose if they could give their 100%. So all teams always try that opponents cannot play their own regular game. If both Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid give their best in a match, then maybe Real Madrid will win. The same goes for Bayern and Barca. To beat them, Atletico must, not only play 100 percent of their potential but also try to prevent Barca, Real or Bayern from playing even 70 percent of their potential.
Definitely not an easy task. And Atletico Madrid had to do this hard task, which was not applicable for the last few years champions. Think about the 2015-16 season. Real Madrid did not face such a tough test in the whole tournament. After consuming two goals against Wolfsburg Real was in little pressure, But after Cristiano score three goals at home ground, Real Come back well. But could Cristiano do the same with Bayern or Baca instead of Wolfsburg? Even the possibilities could not ruled out. But It would not be so easy.
Zidane’s role in getting the misguided Real back on track is undeniable. But you have to admit that Real Madrid and Zidane got a little more luck in (2015-16) tournament than Atletico or Simeone.
Another notable achievement of Simeone is that he does not depend on any superstar like Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar. On the contrary, he makes star players like Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa. They are not able to shine in other clubs without Simeone’s’ one. Griezmann was not that famous a few years ago, and now he is a superstar.
We should salute Simeon for his challenging mentality with limited strength. Under challenging conditions, any club can play a good game in One or two seasons, but no other coach seems to do better like Diego Simeone.
Honestly, just being a champion should not be considered the key to excellence. The issue is how much effort a player or coach has put into it. Simeone has shown his best effort in this place.
Simeone has few successes with his team but has lots of personal achievement.
Diego Simeone personal achievement
|La Liga||2012-13, 2013-14, 2015-16||Best Manager|
|2011-12||Best coach in Europe|
|IFFHS (organization)||2016||Best club coach|
Without Diego Simeone, Atlético Madrid may not find such success. How many coaches able to show such consistent success in this modern era like el cholo?