Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has led his club to numerous honors since he assumed control in December 2011. Over the course of three years, the 44-year-old Argentine has led Los Colchoneros to a Europa League title, UEFA Super Cup, Spanish Supercopa, Copa del Rey and a La Liga title.
Along the way the manager has uncovered talent which had been overlooked by most European sides, as well as influence the development of players within Atletico’s famed youth system. There are few who will question Simeone’s ability to motivate and get the absolute most out of his players.
The former Argentina international was known as a tenacious, two-way player during his professional career. He played club football for numerous sides in Europe including: Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, Internazionale and Lazio. The former defensive midfielder was also capped over 100 times for Argentina and helped lead his country to two Copa America titles and FIFA Confederations Cup.
Perhaps the biggest compliment a coach can receive is when he’s told his team “plays in his image”. That is exactly the case with Atletico Madrid and Diego Simeone.
The manager will have to continue that trend when Fernando Torres makes his return to the Vicente Calderon in January.
There are few players in world football who are at a lower point professionally than Torres. The heights he reached during his first stint with Atletico – and later with Liverpool – have been matched by the lows he’s fallen to since he moved to Chelsea, and more recently AC Milan.
The forward who once terrorized European defenses is now the butt of millions of jokes around football stadiums and inside pubs across the globe. The Spaniard even cuts the figure of a beaten man, with his shoulder slumped over and a smile the furthest thing from his expressionless face.
But while Torres’ goalscoring prowess seems to have abandoned him, his drive and competitiveness on the pitch has not diminished. The striker has not completely thrown in the towel. Torres has shown the he’s willing to fight in order to regain his previous form. He just hasn’t been able to find the back of the net, no matter how hard he tries.
Diego Simeone will find a way to get the best out of Fernando Torres and he will do it by simplifying things for the player.
He knows the striker from their time together as teammates in Madrid, and the manager has continually heaped praise on the former product of Atletico’s youth system.