Luis Garcia hopes Diego Simeone can win another trophy before he leaves Atletico Madrid as he praised the Argentinian’s decision to put a timeline on his future at the club.
June 2018 is when Simeone’s contract as head coach expires at Atletico after he negotiated a reduction in the length of his deal following the 2015-16 Champions League final loss to Real Madrid.
Simeone could yet re-sign with the LaLiga title challengers, though the 47-year-old has spoken openly of his desire to take over at former club Inter in Serie A.
Speaking exclusively to Omnisport, Garcia was asked whether 2017-18 could really be Simeone’s final season in charge of Atletico and the former Spain attacker said: “It depends on a few factors. He has always been very honest. I think that’s the way. When you try to lie, you will be caught.
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) June 30, 2017
“I think he has given everything to Atletico until the last drop of blood. That’s why the supporters love him so much and the club will always be grateful. It doesn’t matter if he leaves next year or not.
“I think these kind of managers, when they decide to move, the club won’t stop them because they will know he gave everything for the club.
“It will depend how they finish next season. Maybe if he gets a trophy he will decide to go or on the other hand, he will say okay ‘I achieved another trophy I want more with the club’.
“It’s difficult. This rumour has been in the club for a while. He reduced his contract. Sometimes it is good when a manager sets a time and decides to end it on that moment because football has no memory and if a season is not good, people will remember that season and not the successful seasons before that.
“Hopefully he does so well in 2017-18. He has Champions League again and he will be trying for the LaLiga trophy against Barcelona and Real Madrid. Hopefully he wins another trophy for the club again.”
From player to coach, Simeone has made the seemingly effortless transition into the dugout, helping transform Altetico and establish their position as one of Europe’s elite clubs.
Since retiring in 2006 and returning to Atletico as head coach in 2011, Simeone has guided the club to LaLiga, Europa League, UEFA Super Cup, Copa del Rey and Supercopa de Espana success.
Atletico’s stunning LaLiga triumph in 2014 – their first in 18 years – snapped Barcelona and Real Madrid’s domination.
Simeone has also overseen two Champions League final appearances. On both occasions, Atletico were the bridesmaids as they were heartbreakingly denied by Madrid after extra time in 2014 and on penalties two years later.
Atletico’s success under Simeone, however, has come as no surprise to Garcia, who enjoyed two spells at the club – firstly in 2002-03 and again between 2007 and 2009.
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) June 28, 2017
“We are getting used to these kind of players, who were already managing when they were playing,” Garcia added. “If you look at his time when he was playing, he was one of those players, you knew on the pitch that he was going to be a good manager because they are already doing it for their entire career.
“Midfielders who have to control the strikers, who have the personality on the pitch to be the right-hand man of the coach. Those players, it is easier for them to get into coaching.
“For Simeone, with the personality and character he had as a player, he is a perfect fit for coaching. Atletico fitted perfectly for him. One of his former clubs, he knows them, he was an important player for them.
“When you get together, the love for the club plus the manager who wants to be successful, you have the perfect mix. I think that’s why he is doing so well.”
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