Speculation has been rife that the 47-year-old, who guided Atletico to the La Liga title in 2013-14 and two Champions League finals, was set to depart after the club’s failure to qualify for the knockout stages of this season’s Champions League.
But on Tuesday night in Madrid, Atletico president Enrique Cerezo said Simeone had given his word that he would remain at the club, at least for another year.
When asked to confirm this at the Dubai International Sports Conference at the Madinat Jumeirah on Wednesday, the Argentine, speaking through an interpreter, said simply: “Yes, this is true.”
He then shut down any further questions about his future saying he would “only speak about the event not about this topic.”
Simeone was a guest on a panel discussing “Investing in Youth Sector” along with former AC Milan, Real Madrid and England manager Fabio Capello and current Egyptian national coach, Hector Cuper.
“It’s very interesting to be part of such an event” said Simeone, “with panelists Cuper and Capello and sharing the experiences of the youth sector. So for me it was really important to share this with them.”
The 47-year-old did not rule out a future in England, expressing an admiration for where the English game is going.
“It’s definitely true that young English players are improving,” he said, “in England they have understood the importance of investing in academies for the future of their clubs.”
“It’s also the result of the economic growth of the game in England.”
Simeone, who starred for Atletico, Inter Milan Lazio in a distinguished playing career, also spoke about how to develop a winning mentality in young players.
“During the training sessions I give the players this attitude,” he explained.
“The motivation to work and go better and to train – to work hard. Train to compete, train to win the game in every situation, every game.”
Simeone also singled out 21-year-old Atletico defender Lucas Hernandez, who has been linked with Manchester United, as a player to watch.
“I know him since he was young and he has all the characteristics to be one of the best”, he said.
When asked whether he preferred “tiki-taka” (creative) or counter-attacking football, the La Albiceleste idol said: “Both these ways are very difficult and it depends on specific situations the way you manage the game.”
The conference culminates on Thursday with sessions on Football Technology Investment, Football Players: Business Plans and Leadership Vision with FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
The video above features plenty of fan reaction to the encounter with one Barcelona supporter even suggesting that Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t deserve to be starting for Madrid!
What is your reaction to the Clasico result? Is the title race already over?
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Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said on Sunday that the club’s fans have to be proud of their team’s achievements in 2017, despite the 3-0 El Clasico defeat by Barcelona that left them 14 points adrift in the La Liga title race.
“2017 was a year that the Madridistas will never forget,” Perez said in his traditional Christmas message to supporters, a day after the home loss to Barca.
“In terms of titles, it’s been the best in the 115 years of our history, and for all of our supporters, 2017 was a great year.
“We are proud of our team and our coach, Zinedine Zidane. They are part of this legend and the myth that is Real Madrid.”
Zidane has come under fire in recent weeks for the first time since taking over as Real coach, after their faltering start to the domestic league campaign and a Champions League loss to Tottenham Hotspur that left them facing a last-16 tie with big-spending Paris Saint-Germain in February.
“Overall, 2017 was very positive. We must continue in this direction for 2018,” said Zidane, who is bidding to lead Real to a third straight European crown.
🎄⚽🌟 Merry Christmas!
— Real Madrid C.F.🇬🇧 (@realmadriden) December 24, 2017