Reigning Spanish La Liga champions Atletico Madrid announced on March 25 that manager Diego Simeone of Argentina has agreed to terms on a three-year contract extension. He’s now under contract until June of 2020. Simeone, a former Atletico player, said he wants to lead the club back into Europe’s elite. His side currently sits in fourth place in the Spanish Primera Division and have a cross-town clash coming up against Real Madrid in the quarterfinals of the European Champions League. Real Madrid beat Simeone’s side 4-1 in extra time in last year’s Champions League Final in Berlin, Germany.
The 44-year-old Simeone spoke to the media at a news conference following the announcement of his signing. He remarked, “I have chosen to be here because I am convinced the club will continue to grow. Because it is strong, there is enthusiasm and there are people here whose desire to participate is stronger each day.”
Simeone took over at Atletico at the end of 2011 and led them to their first Spanish title in 18 years in the 2013/14 season. The team also won the Europa League in his first year in charge before reaching the Champions League Final last term. Atletico beat English Premier League side Chelsea 4-1 in the 2012 European Super Cup and the next year they beat Real Madrid in the King’s Cup Final. They also managed to beat Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup last summer. Atletico’s matches with Real Madrid in this year’s Champions League quarterfinals are scheduled for April 14 at home and April 22nd at the Bernabeu.
Enrique Cerezo, the president of Atletico Madrid said, “Diego Simeone triumphed as a player and became a club legend and we knew we weren’t making a mistake when we proposed to bring him back as coach. He has helped us underpin the club’s growth with his tremendous success on the pitch and he has consolidated our place among the European soccer elite.”