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Eriksson: Simeone is an example to follow

Sven-Goran Eriksson heaped praise on former pupil Diego Simeone, insisting the Atletico Madrid coach is an “example to follow” in world football.

Simeone played under Eriksson at Lazio for two years and the Argentine boss has since gone to turn Atletico into a resolute and genuine European powerhouse.

After taking the reins in 2011, Simeone has guided Atletico to La La glory, as well as Europa League, Copa del Rey, UEFA Super Cup and Supercopa de Espana titles.

Atletico – second in the league and in the Champions League semi-finals – are once again vying for silverware this season, much to the delight of Shanghai SIPG boss Eriksson.

“I am cheering for Atletico Madrid and Simeone,” Eriksson told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“His football intrigues me, and we spoke about it in the summer as we met in China for a friendly. He said he picked up a few things from me and I am proud of that.

“Simeone was tough as a player and he still is as a coach. His training sessions are like matches, and then that work pays off on the field.

“His team presses so well. He is an example to follow.”

Atletico, who defeated Rayo Vallecano 1-0 on Saturday, are level on points with title holders Barcelona with two matches remaining in La Liga.

Simeone and Co. are also on the cusp of another Champions League final following their first-leg semi-final win over Bayern Munich, having lost to Real Madrid in the 2014 decider.

“I really like to watch Barcelona play when they are on form and move the ball. However not everyone can field Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez,” Eriksson added.

“That is why being organised is so key, which is why I believe Simeone is an example to follow. Nobody runs more than Atletico in La Liga.”

Sun 1 May, 2016
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