Simeone knows Atletico could be his peak

By Dom Farrell 24 December 2016 56
Simeone knows Atletico could be his peak

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone believes he will struggle to find a better club when he leaves his current employers.

On Friday, Simeone marked five years in charge of the LaLiga side – a largely celebrated spell during which he memorably pipped Barcelona and Real Madrid to the 2013-14 top-flight title.

However, the ex-Argentina international's future has become the subject of regular speculation since he negotiated for his contract to end in 2018 as opposed to 2020.

Atletico have struggled for their customary consistency this season and lie sixth in LaLiga at the mid-season break, while Simeone appeared to be deeply affected by a second Champions League final loss in three years to Real Madrid back in May.

The 46-year-old has spoken openly of his desire to coach another of his former clubs, Inter, but said this week that a stay in Madrid beyond the length of his existing deal was not out of the question

Discussing the factors which might come to influence that decision, Simeone told Marca: "It'll be difficult to find a team better than Atletico. Reducing my contract was what was best for the club.

"I have to continue to be very demanding of myself in order to evolve.

"I guide myself with energy, different sensations and what I perceive, but a lot of people are already saying I'm leaving.

"It is all connected with what I'm feeling, the emotional side."

Simeone also insisted his relationship with the Atletico board remains strong despite reports of a rift relating to their failure to secure prime attacking transfer targets during the close season.

He pointed to their efforts to keep Radamel Falcao at the club for a season after their 2012 Europa League triumph as an act that cemented trust.

"The relationship is a good one and the board had the ability to keep Radamel Falcao in a very difficult moment, which wasn't easy," Simeone added.

"If we are all able to push towards our goals all together than I'm sure that there are good things ahead of us."

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Dom Farrell