March 4, 2023

Simeone sets new Atletico record of 613 matches at helm

Simeone sets new Atletico record of 613 matches at helm

Diego Simeone

Diego Simeone set a new record as Atletico Madrid coach on Saturday, taking charge of his 613th game at the club against Sevilla in La Liga at the Metropolitano Stadium.

The Argentine, 54, overtook the late club legend Luis Aragones on 612, and, accompanied by his own children, was handed a commemorative shirt to mark the new milestone by Aragones’s son before kick-off.

“Legend Simeone,” read the back of the shirt and electronic displays around the stadium as Atletico fans chanted their coach’s name in appreciation for his service.

Simeone, who played for the club in midfield across two spells, took over as coach in 2011.

Known for his competitive — and sometimes abrasive — style, Simeone helped Atletico win La Liga in 2014 and 2021, and the Copa del Rey in 2013.

Atletico Madrid’s Dutch forward Memphis Depay (C) celebrates scoring his team’s second goal with teammates during the Spanish League football match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Sevilla FC at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, on March 4, 2023. (Photo by Thomas COEX / AFP)

The coach established Atletico as a team capable of battling with giants Real Madrid and Barcelona for domestic honours.

Before the Simeone era, the last time they won La Liga and the Copa del Rey was in 1996, when they did the domestic double under Radomir Antic.

Simeone also steered Atletico to the 2014 and 2016 Champions League finals, but his side suffered defeat in both against bitter rivals Real Madrid.

He guided the club to Europa League triumphs in 2012 and 2018, as well as two European Super Cups.

This season Atletico have underwhelmed, failing to compete in the title race and suffering a group stage Champions League exit, with speculation Simeone’s reign could come to an end in the summer.