Why Simeone has no plans to leave Atletico

Suraj Radia
Suraj Radia
  • 27 Oct 2022 19:42 BST
  • 3 min read
Diego Simeone has signed a new Atletico Madrid contract until 2024
© ProShots

Diego Simeone has insisted he will not leave Atletico Madrid despite the Spaniards crashing out of the Champions League at the group stage for just the second time in the past decade.

Atletico could only draw against Bayer Leverkusen after missing a last-minute penalty which condemned them to an early exit and, potentially, missing out on the Europa League too.

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The early exit prompted speculation that Atletico may have finally reached their ceiling under Simeone, with his contract set to expire in 2024, but the Argentine was defiant in his reaction.

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Speaking after Atletico’s fate was sealed, Simeone said: "It's the hardest moment but I'm going to continue insisting on this club to get something we need, such as the Champions League.”

Atletico sit third in La Liga but they are eight points behind rivals Real Madrid, with the gap between them and the best side in Europe continuing to grow.

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End of an era for Simeone?

Simeone has revolutionised Atletico since taking over 11 years ago, winning seven trophies including two La Liga championships, but their league title in 2021 was their only piece of silverware since 2018.

Atletico have, instead, been battling with Barcelona as the best second-placed side in the league, something which perhaps has seen them stall in their progress under Simeone.

The Colchoneros posted a points total of 71 last year, their second-lowest since Simeone was appointed mid-way through the 2011/12 season.

Furthermore, the club simply do not have the financial muscle to continue to compete with the likes of Barca and Real, having spent just €16.5 million in the summer, compared to the combined total of more than €300m spent by their rivals.

With Atletico’s squad also ageing and consisting of the same core who led them to their previous titles, such as Saul Niguez, Koke and Jose Gimenez, some critics feel that the time for change may be near.

While Simeone may admirably wish to continue until they achieve their goal of winning a Champions League, having been runners up twice, it would take a huge, long-term shift for them to pull it off.

However, regardless of how his tenure eventually ends, Simeone will go down as arguably the most important figure in Atletico’s history and deserves to decide when he feels his story should reach its ending – for his sake, hopefully it is a fairytale end rather than a nightmare.

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