The Argentine could see himself out of job in the summer.
The Argentine Diego Simeone has become a legend at the Wanda Metropolitano. Diego Simeone took charge of Atletico Madrid in December 2011. Since then Atletico Madrid has become one of the top clubs in Europe and Spain. Atletico Madrid has won eight titles over the past 11 years. This includes a Spanish Cup, a Spanish Super Cup, two UEFA Super Cups, two UEFA Europa League, and two La Liga. They have also managed to reach two UCL finals under Simeone.
However many do conclude that Simeone’s defensive style of football is no more as good as it was. Many attacking players are incapable of playing in this system. Joao Felix, a very talented youngster, has now left Atletico Madrid on loan. Let’s take a look at the top 5 managers who can replace Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid:
5. Ronald Koeman
The Dutch manager is not new to La Liga. Koeman, a legend of FC Barcelona, has also managed the Blaugrana. Under his short stint, FC Barcelona won the Copa Del Rey and was very close to winning La Liga. Koeman had a 58-win percentage record in his short stint at FC Barcelona (39 out of 67). However, the way FC Barcelona removed him was in a very distasteful manner. Surely Koeman would be looking to prove everyone wrong.
Moreover, his style of management is very conservative or not focused towards attractive football. This will suit Atletico Madrid very well as the team is based on solid defensive ability.
4. Gennaro Gattuso
Atletico Madrid used to be a fighting force over the years. They have lost this seemingly undying passion over recent years. However, a manager like Gennaro Gattuso can definitely bring that back. Known for his tenacity, and attitude, Gattuso can bring out the very best of Atletico Madrid. Replacing a tough manager like Diego with another like Gattuso does seem very appropriate.
The Italian is a decent candidate to replace Diego Simeone. He is without a job after parting with Napoli last summer. Gennaro’s record at Napoli stands at 47 wins out of 81 games.
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3. Ernesto Valverde
Hated widely in FC Barcelona, once their favourite, Ernesto Valverde has been through it all. He has not only managed FC Barcelona but also Valencia, Athletic Bilbao and Espanyol. Valverde dominated Spain with FC Barcelona during his managerial period. Barcelona won back-to-back La Liga’s with a 10-plus point gap. The Blaugrana also won one Copa Del Rey and one Supercoppa De Espana.
However, it was what happened in the UEFA Champions League which led to his downfall. He became the first manager to bottle a 1st leg 3-goal lead twice. After leaving Barcelona in 2020, he has wanted to return to Spanish football. Atletico Madrid does seem like a great option.
2. Mauricio Pochettino
Pochettino and Simeone are definitely familiar with each other. Even their style of play is very similar. Pochettino likes to utilise the best out of his midfield. Pochettino has instilled a counter-attacking quick passing style of football at Spurs before.
The Rojiblancos have become very famous for their quick and compact midfield. This would be a great introduction for Atletico Madrid as they would not have to instil a new method of playing. Pochettino’s last job was at Tottenham Hotspurs. Unfortunately not even his managerial ability could win them a trophy. He did come close to winning the UCL but unfortunately lost the final against Liverpool.
1. Luis Enrique
The 52-year-old is a legendary manager thanks to his very successful run with FC Barcelona. Luis Enrique managed the Spanish national team as well. He did have a great run unfortunately they did not win any trophies. After losing in the Round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup 2022, Luis Enrique stepped down as manager. As of now, he is looking for a new role and perhaps at a club level.
Many sources have speculated that Luis Enrique is the leading candidate to replace Simeone. Diego Simeone’s time can possibly come to an end since his contract is only till 2024. Luis Enrique is arguably the perfect candidate to take over the reins.