Diego Simeone

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Atletico Madrid president labels Diego Simeone “untouchable”

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Atletico Madrid sits fourth in the La Liga table, winless in the Champions League, and in peril in the Copa del Rey, yet none of that troubles the club president.

Critics have come in droves in a difficult season for Atleti and manager Diego Simeone, and while the public might point fingers, Madrid president Enrique Cerezo is fully backing the boss. “I want to say this in a loud voice,” he told Spanish publication Marca. “Simeone is untouchable at Atletico Madrid, for the players, for the directors and for the supporters.”

Cerezo followed up by saying criticism of the head man “is not allowed here.”

Simeone has been wildly successful at Atletico Madrid, taking the club to new heights and turning his back on offers from more traditionally giant clubs. Yet this season has proven tumultuous. Despite what Cerezo referred to as the club’s best-ever squad, he also shrugged his shoulders as to why the season has proven difficult.

“I keep saying so. We are playing a game, and games are the way they are. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.”

Madrid sits fourth in La Liga, level with Real Madrid on points but behind on goal differential. They are eight points back of leaders Barcelona after just 11 matches.

The Champions League has proven even more baffling, with Madrid in a distant third in Group C after a trio of draws, including two against Azerbaijani minnows Qarabak FK despite holding a man advantage at various times in both matches. With remaining games against Chelsea and Roma and a four-point deficit, it’s increasingly unlikely that Madrid will be destined for the drop to the Europa League, or worse.

Even in the Copa del Rey 2nd round, Madrid suffered a 1-1 draw in the first leg at third-tier side Elche and now come home needing a win or 0-0 draw to advance.

The club has suffered just a single defeat in any competition this season through 16 total matches, but they continue to settle for the minimum, owning just six wins in comparison with nine draws.

Nevertheless, the club president remains true to the course. “We could have scored four against Roma and then we had 14,000 chances against Qarabag,” he said. “It’s not just a problem specific to Atletico that players can be more or less clinical, but it’s a problem for a lot of elite clubs.

“I keep saying we have a fantastic squad, a wonderful coach and a phenomenal fanbase. That’s enough for me.”

One must admire his steadfastness and ability not to panic, appreciative of what the club has despite a modern environment where team management is often reactive and quick to act.

Report: Everton has Diego Simeone atop its managerial wish list

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Diego Simeone is atop Everton’s wish list to replace fired manager Ronald Koeman, according to Sky Sports.

The outlet says Simeone is unlikely to leave Atletico Madrid in the middle of a campaign, meaning Everton’s next manager could be signing a deal through the end of this season.

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The Toffees are just outside the Premier League’s drop zone after 11 matches, though many believe they have too much quality to spend the season in a relegation battle.

Simeone has a contract at Atletico Madrid through 2020, and Atleti sits tied with Real behind Barcelona and Valencia in La Liga.

The three-time La Liga Coach of the Year has won one league title, a Europa League crown, and led Atleti to a pair of Champions League Finals.

Also in the mix are Sam Allardyce, caretaker boss David Unsworth, and Watford leader Marco Silva.

Real Madrid reaches third UCL final in four years with win over Atletico

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The Vicente Calderon hosted its last European match on Wednesday, and unfortunately for the hosts the end result didn’t go in favor of Atletico Madrid.

[ MORE: Rafa Benitez will remain with Newcastle in club’s return to PL ]

Atletico picked up a 2-1 victory on the day over Real Madrid, however, Zinedine Zidane’s side still advanced to the UEFA Champions League final with a 4-2 aggregate win.

The victory pushes Real through to its third UCL final in the last four seasons, and the Spanish giants will now meet Serie A leaders Juventus after they defeated Monaco on Tuesday.

Real certainly didn’t replicate its first leg performance during the first half, but Isco’s finish on the stroke of halftime gave Los Blancos a crucial away goal and pushed the score to 4-2.

Antoine Griezmann didn’t hit his penalty kick as well as he would’ve liked but it still ended up in the back of the net after a quarter hour when Keylor Navas couldn’t keep the attempt out.

The pressure mounted for Atleti from the start and Saul Niguez gave Diego Simeone’s side the lead after 12 minutes when he headed home Koke’s corner kick.

Yannick Carrasco nearly gave the hosts a dream start after five minutes when Navas punched the Atletico midfielder’s attempt wide of goal, while Jan Oblak responded with an equally good save for Atleti a minute later after Casemiro’s close-range header.

Navas made a brilliant double-save with under half an hour remaining when Carrasco was sent in on goal from a long Felipe Luis through ball.

Come back versus Real? Simeone says Atleti “capable”

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Let’s face it: Atletico Madrid needs to beat Real Madrid by four goals in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League semifinal.

Yes, Diego Simeone’s men can defend like almost no one else, but the idea of scooping up a tie-leveling 3-0 score line next Wednesday at the Vicente Calderon seems almost absurd given the explosive nature of Real Madrid.

[ UCL: Real buries Atleti | Ronaldo reacts ]

However Atleti hope to get the job done in reversing a 3-0 score that came without an away goal, Simeone vows to give all he can to the cause.

From Atletico Madrid’s English site:

“It’s very complicated, but it’s football. Football has unexpected things. We will play until the last drop of possibility we have.”

“Now we have to try to do something impossible, but since we’re called Atlético de Madrid, we are possibly capable.”

If there’s one man I’d bet on tactically in this spot, it might be Simeone.

UCL Tuesday: Real, Atleti renew rivalry in semifinals first leg

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It’s about to get real in the UEFA Champions League. No pun intended… maybe.

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There’s no Barcelona, no Bayern Munich, no Premier League sides remaining, but what we do have is a rivalry that will almost certainly present a captivating semifinal as Real Madrid takes on city rival Atletico Madrid.

These two sides have been firmly entrenched in the UCL over recent years, with the rivalry taking a massive step forward in the past three seasons as Real knocked off Atleti in the 2013/14 and 2015/16 finals in dramatic fashion.

In their previous 10 encounters, Atletico has come away with four victories to Real’s three and the clubs have tied on three other occasions, including their most recent meeting back on April 8.

As the stats show, there’s not much separating these two clubs.

At the forefront of all it will be renowned attacker Cristiano Ronaldo, who aims to lead Los Blancos to the Millennium Stadium in an attempt to achieve back-to-back UCL crowns.

The Portuguese international is tied for fourth in goals during this season’s competition with seven, while Antonine Griezmann is the danger man for Atletico after finishing five goals of his own.

Both Diego Simeone and Zinedine Zidane clearly possess squads with brilliant attacking ability, but it could be the defending on display that decides this season’s clash between the two Madrid clubs.

Atletico boasts the best backline in La Liga in 2016/17, having only allowed 25 goals in 35 matches, which equates to 0.7 goals per game. Meanwhile, Real has battled some uncertainty defensively at times this season, but the Madridistas have clamped down as of late.

Since January, Real has only conceded more than three goals on three occasions.

The two sides will meet again next Wednesday at the Vicente Calderon Stadium.