While Atletico Madrid might sit seven points adrift of Barcelona in the race for the La Liga title, Los Rojiblancos will be boosted by the news that manager Diego Simeone has put pen to paper on a new long-term deal.
Since taking over with the Spanish giants back in 2011, the Argentine tactician has risen to one of the most sort after bosses across Europe.
Leading Atletico into their new Wanda Metropolitano stadium last season, Simeone’s new deal will keep him at the club until 2022.
Reports in Spain claim Simeone’s new deal earns him pay parity with the club’s top earner, Antoine Griezmann – worth around €150,000 a week.
— Atlético de Madrid (@Atleti) February 14, 2019
Already cementing his position in Atletico folklore, Simeone has been arguably the biggest factor in Los Rojiblancos rise over the previous seasons.
Under Simeone, Atletico have established themselves as one of the dominant teams in both Spain and Europe, winning the Europa League twice and La Liga in 2014.
He has also guided Atletico to the Champions League Final twice, losing both too bitter rivals Real.
Simeone is also now the longest active manager in La Liga.
Speaking in a video message uploaded by Atletico to announce the news, Simeone expressed his excitement and is predicting more success in the future.
“The future that lies ahead of us until 2022 is very exciting, but it will also be full of challenges.
I’ve decided to renew my contract once again with Atletico Madrid because I have high hopes for the future.
I see hard work, I see players focused on improving, I see excitement, I see youth.
All of this can make us grow as a team, and I know that if the four legs remain strong and firm like they have until now, we’re going to continue in the same way.
Fans, players, officials and coaches. That’s been a big strength of ours, and we must not change in the future.”
News of Simeone signing a new deal in the Spanish capital comes after some speculation that the 48-year-old was being touted as a potential replacement for Chelsea boss, Maurizio Sarri.
Despite also previously being linked with a string of Premier League clubs, including both Manchester United and Arsenal, Simeone has remained loyal to the side he served as a player.
Simeone himself has also been named La Liga’s Coach of the Year on three occasions.