Atletico Madrid’s success has been built on the “determination, sacrifice and humility” of coach Diego Simeone, according to Fabio Capello.
Simeone’s side beat Bayern Munich 1-0 in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday and remain locked in a three-team battle for the Liga title.
However, the Argentine coach has been given a three-game touchline ban for the domestic run-in following his behaviour during Atletico’s recent win against Malaga, when a ball was thrown onto the Vicente Calderon pitch to disrupt an attack from the visitors.
Former Real Marid coach Capello believes Simeone’s personal attributes and the teamwork shown by the Atletico squad have contributed to another fine season.
“He is always able to transmit three ideas into his side: determination, sacrifice and humility,” the 69-year-old told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Everyone runs and fights together in order to earn a result. Simeone studies his rivals and tries to find the best way to line up against them.
“The fact he worries about what is in front of him is a sign of humility and intelligence.
“There is a lot of work that goes on at Atletico. The work they do on set-pieces is meticulous, along with the strategy to attack the ball carrier on the other team. Simeone is smart and so is his football.”
Capello believes there are some similarities between Atletico and Leicester City, with Claudio Ranieri’s side on the brink of a historic Premier League title victory.
“Atletico have more quality, but Leicester have surprised me thanks to their desire to win and the way they push to achieve their goals,” the ex-England coach added.
“[Ranieri] has been immense. He is pulling off a masterpiece. I’m happy for him as he is a prepared coach and a good person. He’s always kept a low profile and respected his colleagues.”