Diego Simeone has been the driving force behind Atletico Madrid’s resurgence in recent years, sporting director Jose Luis Caminero believes.
An Atletico legend after captaining the club to a famous La Liga and Copa del Rey double in 1995-96, Simeone’s hero status at the Vicente Calderon has grown further thanks to his achievements since taking over as coach in December 2011.
The Argentinian has guided Atletico to Europa League and Copa glory, as well as the league title and Champions League final in 2013-14.
Simeone signed a new long-term contract with Atletico last year, but is consistently linked with managerial vacancies at major European clubs.
However, Caminero told Omnisport: “Simeone has a contract with Atletico until 2020 and everybody at the club and the fans hope he will be with us for a long time.
“He is the person who brings everyone together at Atletico, players, staff, fans and directors.
“He arrived at the club at the best possible moment. He is making history and it is clear that we want him to stay for many years.
“We want him to keep the club going in the right direction and to do better year after year.”
Antoine Griezman and Fernando Torres have been in superb form in recent weeks as Atletico chase a remarkable Liga and Champions League double.
Caminero added: “Griezmann is still a young guy who is constantly improving. There is no doubt about his quality. He keeps on getting better each season, scoring more goals every year.
“He suits Atletico’s style, he works very hard and is passionate about what he does. That shows he is happy here and he improves on his own stats each season,” Caminero added.
“Fernando is on a great run. He has been scoring goals and that is the most important thing for us. Strikers live to score goals and go on goalscoring runs. That helps them to improve.
“Torres is on a goalscoring run now and that boosts his confidence. Strikers who were once able to score a lot of goals will always end up scoring again. His goals are important for us. We need Fernando’s goals and we need Griezmann’s goals.”
***Caminero was speaking to promote the International Champions Cup Australia, presented by Audi***