Atlético Madrid returned to preseason training on Wednesday, and the most successful coach in club history received a new contract on Thursday.
Diego Simeone has signed a fresh two-year contract extension, finalizing terms that had been in place for some time. Simeone, whose previous contract ran until June 2022, now will remain in charge of the Spanish champions until at least 2024. Cholo’s coaching staff — including top assistant Nelson Vivas, chief physio Óscar Ortega, and goalkeeping coach Pablo Vercellone — received their own two-year extensions as well.
Simeone’s 316 victories are the most an Atlético manager has ever accrued, and in May he became just the third manager in Atlético’s history to win LaLiga on multiple occasions. Last season’s triumph brought the Argentine’s trophy haul to eight since his arrival midway through the 2011/12 season, also a club record. Already the longest-tenured coach in LaLiga — and indeed, in Atleti’s 118-year history — Cholo’s new contract could see him complete 12 full seasons on the touchline (and 13 seasons overall).
A former star midfielder — and a key figure in Atlético’s legendary league/cup double in 1996 — Simeone returned to the club after Gregorio Manzano’s dismissal days before Christmas 2011. The turnaround was immediate. Simeone guided Atleti to a Europa League triumph in May 2012, a Copa del Rey win over Real Madrid the next year, and a miraculous last-day league title triumph over Barcelona the year after that.
Then, upon a clear-out of several aging veterans in 2019, Simeone successfully transitioned the colchoneros into a new era (despite a few hiccups along the way), and a rebuilt side won LaLiga in 2020/21 — again on the final day.
There is no better coach out there for this club than Simeone, and he is worth every euro of his reportedly-massive salary. It was absolutely imperative that Atlético renew its greatest-ever coach, whose gaze now turns fully toward defending LaLiga in 2021/22.