1. Factbox: Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone

Factbox: Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone

An energetic, hard-tackling midfielder, often described as playing with a knife between his teeth...

By: | Madrid | Published: December 30, 2014 11:07 AM

An energetic, hard-tackling midfielder, often described as playing with a knife between his teeth, who also had an eye for goal, Simeone made his first division debut for Velez Sarsfield in 1987.

Left for Europe in 1990. His first stop was Pisa in Italy and he went on to play for Sevilla, Atletico Madrid, where he had two spells, Lazio and Inter Milan. Won La Liga and the King’s Cup with Atletico in 1996, the UEFA Cup with Inter in 1998 and Serie A, the Italian Cup and the Italian Super Cup with Lazio in 2000.

His Argentina career began in 1988 with a 4-1 defeat by Australia. He went on to make 106 appearances, played at the 1994, 1998 and 2002 World Cups and was in the teams that won the 1991 and 1993 Copa America.

Was famously involved in the sending-off of England’s David Beckham in a second-round match at the 1998 World Cup, which Argentina won on penalties after a 2-2 draw. His last international appearance was in a 1-0 defeat by England at the 2002 World Cup.

Left Europe in 2005 to join Racing Club — the team he supported as a boy — in the Argentine first division.

In February 2006, he quit playing at the request of Racing president Fernando Marin and took over as coach. However, he left the club four months later when Marin was replaced.

Took over at Estudiantes and within six months had won the 2006/07 Apertura championship, beating Boca Juniors in a playoff, for their first title in 23 years.

Stayed at Estudiantes for another year, joined River and helped them win the 2007/08 Clausura title. Quit River in November 2008 after a run of 11 domestic games without a win left them bottom of the Apertura championship. The final straw was their elimination from the Copa Sudamericana by Guadalajara.

Had brief spells at San Lorenzo and Italian club Catania before joining Racing again and then Atletico in December 2011.

Led Atletico to 2012 Europa League title before his side beat city rivals Real Madrid in the 2013 King’s Cup final held at Real’s Bernabeu stadium. Atletico continue to outperform under the inspirational Simeone, winning a first La Liga title in 18 years in 2013-14 and losing narrowly to Real in the Champions League final.

Shortlisted for 2014 FIFA World Coach of the Year award along with Real’s Carlo Ancelotti and Germany’s Joachim Loew.

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