IFFHS AWARDS – THE WORLD’S BEST CLUB COACH 2016 : DIEGO SIMEONE (ARGENTINA/ATLETICO DE MADRID)
Diego Pablo Simeone Gonzales, born 28 April 1970 in Buenos Aires, is currently the Argentine Manager of Atlético de Madrid since 2011 ! He was an international Player during 14 years with Argentina’s National Team before beginning a successful Managerial career.
Diego Simeone, also known as El Choco because of his energetic play as midfielder, started his club career in Velez Sarsfield at 17. In 3 seasons, he scored 14 goals in 76 games, receiving at 18 in 1988 his first international cap with Argentina ! He went then to Pisa in Italy (1990 to 1992) and to Sevilla in Spain (1992 to 1994). He disputed 55 matches (6 goals) in Italy and 64 games (12 goals) in Spain before signing a contract with Spain’s Atlético de Madrid in 1994. He spent three seasons there (98 matches and 21 goals), winning his first titles, a domestic double : the Liga 1995/96 and the Copa de Rey 1995/96.
Inter Milan was his next station during two seasons (1997-1999) with a great success : the UEFA Cup in 1998 ! In 1999, he joined Lazio Rom where he stayed four years (90 matches, 15 goals) and won 4 titles in one year : the Serie A 1999/2000, the Coppa Italia 1999/2000, the Supercoppa Italiana 2000 and the UEFA Super Cup 1999 !
In 2003, he returned to Atlético Madrid for two seasons (36 matches, 2 goals) before ending his player career at Racing Club in 2006. At international level, he played 106 games (11 goals) with Argentina during 14 years (1988 to 2002), winning the Copa America 1991 and 1993, the King Fahd Cup 1992 and the Silver medal at the Olympic Games 1996. He participated at three FIFA World Cups (1994, 1998, 2002) and four editions of the Copa America.
He began his managerial career in February 2006 with Racing Club in Argentina where he ended his player career. He signed in May of the same year with Estudiantes where he won his first manager title : the Argentine Primera Division 2006 Torneo Apertura. Direction River Plate in 2007 with the same success : the Argentine Primera Division 2008 Torneo Clausura title ! After San Lorenzo and italian club Catania, he joined again Atlético de Madrid as coach in December 2011 ! He had there his biggest managerial success, becoming a legendary figure in the history of the club. He won La Liga 2013/14, the Copa del Rey 2012/13, the Supercopa de Espana 2014, the UEFA Europa Leagues 2011/12 and 2017/18, and the UEFA Super Cups 2012 and 2018. He was also twice runner up in the UEFA Champions League 2013/14 and 2015/16 ! He was crowned THE WORLD’S BEST CLUB COACH 2016 by IFFHS, the European Coach of the season 2011/12, the Liga Coach of the Year (2013, 2014, 2016) and entered in the World’s Coaches Top 5 each year !