Simeone, Klopp and the longest serving managers in Europe’s Big 5 leagues

Robin Bairner
Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone

Atletico Madrid confirmed on Thursday that head coach Diego Simeone has extended his contract with the club until 2024.

It means that Simeone, should he see out that deal, will have taken charge of the team from the Spanish capital for a staggering 13 years.

The Argentine has deserved his deal as he has broken the dominance of Barcelona and Real Madrid in Spain, leading Atleti into something of a golden age given that they are considered the capital's second team.

Indeed, Atleti won the Primera Division for the second time under Simeone in May, holding out impressively under pressure from the Clasico pair.

Only six managers in Europe’s Big 5 leagues, including Simeone and Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp, have been in charge for more than five consecutive years.

Indeed, Simeone is now the second longest-serving coach in Europe's 'Big 5' leagues, having jumped up the table this summer thanks to the decision of Angers boss Stephane Moulin to stand down.

Moulin had been the longest serving boss of them all in Europe, having taken up the post on 1 July, 2011.

Time can be an ally, longevity can be a strength, and sometimes it can be a weakness and I don’t want to get there
- Stephane Moulin

“For 10 years, I have seen players arrive, players leave, sometimes even players come back. And now it’s my turn,” he explained as he announced his departure earlier this year.

“I fully appreciate the difficulty of going through this moment, even if this is my decision.

“Time can be an ally, longevity can be a strength, and sometimes it can be a weakness and I don’t want to get there.”

Who is the longest serving manager in Europe’s Big 5 leagues?

The man who has taken over as the longest-serving coach in Europe’s elite is Freiburg’s Christian Streich, who has been in charge of his side since 29 December, 2011.

Indeed, he beats Simeone to the position by just three days, although the Atletico Madrid boss was actually unveiled around a week earlier. Furthermore, the Argentine does have the consolation of knowing that no coach in the world is paid close to what he earns.

The only other boss even close to this pair is Burnley’s Shaun Dyche, who has been at the helm of the Premier League outfit for a little over eight years.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, at five years and five months, is now the fourth longest-serving boss in Europe following Jose Luis Mendilibar's departure from Eibar.

Dates correct as of March 2021

Meanwhile, Alvaro Cervera of Cadiz and Gian Piero Gasperini have recently crossed the five-year threshold, taking them into an exclusive club.

All these modern coaches, however, pale into insignificance compared to the legendary Guy Roux, who led Auxerre for 36 successive years from 1964 to 2000 (and then again from 2001 until 2005) – a tally that surpasses even the great Sir Alex Ferguson, who spent 27 years in charge of Manchester United.

COACH (CLUB)TIME IN CHARGE
Christian Streich (Freiburg)9y 6m
Diego Simeone (Atletico Madrid)9y 6m
Shaun Dyche (Burnley)8y 8m
Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)5y 9m
Alvaro Cervera (Cadiz)5y 3m
Gian Piero Gasperini (Atalanta)5y 1m