Diego Simeone has been pretty much flawless since walking through the doors at the Vicente Calderon stadium, guiding Atletico Madrid to Europe League success and a memorable Copa Del Rey trophy.
It was hard to imagine things getting much better than that for the Rojiblancos, but the Argentine coach has somehow managed to take the team further, to the cusp of a historical La Liga and Champions League double.
Has there ever been a manager to have as much success against the odds in such a short space of time? Arguably only one, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.
Before becoming manager of the Blues (for the first time), Mourinho had already done something remarkably special at Porto. Since then, it has been trophy galore, as the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga and Champions League winners medals are but just a small number of top honours he has won.
The similarities between Mourinho and Simeone isn’t just success, but in the style of play of their respective teams and the way the media are drawn to every word they say.
With that in mind, perhaps it is then not such a shock to hear where Diego Simeone learned a number of his managerial traits as he reveals in a recent interview.
“When I was the coach of San Lorenzo I was with Pep Guardiola for a week and then with Mourinho for a week. I learned from them both. Pep was just starting out, and Mourinho hadn’t won the title at Inter at that time.” He said, quoted by Mundo Deportivo.
Diego Simeone has faced Jose Mourinho as coach a number of times, with their most recent meeting being the Champions League semi-final.
Chelsea opted to be ultra-defensive during the first leg, and despite grounding out a hard-fought 0-0, the Blues’ tactics were criticised by some quarters in the press.
El Cholo Simeone, however, refused to knock Mourinho’s style and believes the Chelsea boss demands respect from the footballing world.
“I have said that Mourinho has won titles in distinct places with different players. Like his football or not, it is competitive.”