Diego Simeone and Ernesto Valverde of Atletico Madrid and Barcelona respectively have been handed new contracts. Simeone gets reward for his service to Atleti with a contract that runs until 2022. The deal sees him up to 11 years as manager of the club he once played for. Valverde, on the other hand gets a year’s extension with an option of an additional 12 months.
Argentine Simeone is the Spanish La Liga’s longest-serving current manager and has well cemented his legendary status at Atletico. The 48-year-old Argentine has brought steely determination to the team he played for across two spells, winning admirers and trophies along the way.
Diego “Cholo” Simeone.  Jose Breton/NurPhoto via Getty Images

He famously broke the Barcelona-Real Madrid duopoly of the La Liga title in 2014 with a devastating team. His other achievements include two Europa League titles, two European Super Cups, one Copa Del Rey, one Spanish Super Cup and two Champions League Runners-up medals. He has been named La Liga coach of the season three times. An amazing record with the team shows 252 wins, 67 defeats, 93 draws from 412 outings and 216 clean sheets. A truly outstanding record for an outstanding manager, now there’s three more years of it!
Diego Simeone’s teams are famous for their aggressive, never-say-die attitude which makes them hard to beat and devastating on the counter. Firmly reminiscent of ‘El Cholo’ himself during his playing days. His team currently sit third on the La Liga table and face Juventus in the Champions League Round of 16.

Barca’s Ernesto Valverde.  AFP/Getty Images/Lluis Gene

Barcelona’s Ernesto Valverde is not every Barca fan’s cup of tea. That is solely because he’s not the most easy-on-the-eye coach of Pep Guardiola’s tiki-taka ilk.

 The spaniard’s record at Barca though, speaks for itself. In 96 matches, he has won 65, drawn 22 and lost nine. Scoring 223 goals and conceding 78 with 45 clean sheets. 

 Importantly, Valverde’s impact behind the scenes has been remarkable. He successfully managed the departure of Neymar at the start of last season and secured a league and cup double in his debut season. They almost went the whole season unbeaten too.

 Valverde maintains the respect of the squad and excellently managed Ousmane Dembele’s disciplinary issues with the club. The squad works well with him, and Lionel Messi must have been pivotal in confirming such harmony before a renewal.

AFP/Getty Images/ Ander Gillenea

 The Barcelona board are happy with their manager too, the contract renewal keeps unwelcome speculation away from their squad. It keeps a positive image of the club and it makes sense to keep a manager who never attracts negative headlines. He accepts their decisions such as the sale of Paulinho. It’s a measure of their absolute trust in the manager that they sanctioned the arrivals of Arturo Vidal, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Jeison Murillo. Atypical Barcelona signings.

  Barcelona currently top La Liga table by six points and face Lyon in the Champions League Round of 16, before a Copa Del Rey semi-final second leg with Real Madrid (1-1 after the first leg). A Spanish Super Cup has already been secured this season and Barcelona look forward to stability for another year at least. 

 The only blemish to his reign was the ‘Romantada‘ quarter-final loss to Roma after a 4-1 lead from the first leg. Many fans have not forgiven him for that one, a lot more would never accept his style of football. Continental success is therefore the priority for most fans. 

 Valverde and Simeone aren’t favourites for football purists yet they are winners and manage two of Spain’s most important clubs. Their contract extensions ensure stability at both clubs who would look forward to resounding success.

Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin
February 15, 2019
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Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.

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