Coach Simeone to stay with Atletico Madrid through 2020
MADRID (AP) Atletico Madrid is putting an end to speculations about Diego Simeone’s future, extending the coach’s contract for two more seasons and keeping him at the club until the end of the 2019-20 season.
Simeone’s current contract with the Spanish club was due to expire at the end of the 2017-18 campaign. Some of Europe’s top clubs were expected to come after the coach who revamped Atletico and turned it into a regular title contender.
Rumors about Simeone’s possible departure escalated last year when he and the club agreed to reduce the duration of his previous contract. A deal until 2020 had been announced in 2015, but last September the terms were changed and the coach would have been on the market by the end of this season.
The former Argentina player is starting his seventh season as Atletico’s coach, the longest consecutive run among managers currently in charge of a Spanish league club.
Atletico said that Arsene Wenger, who has been coaching Arsenal since 1996, is the only manager still coaching to have spent more seasons with the same club in the top European leagues.
The 47-year-old Simeone played for Atletico as a defensive midfielder in the 1990s.
He took over as coach in December 2011, leading it to the Europa League title that same season.
He eventually helped Atletico win the European Super Cup, the Copa del Rey, the Spanish league and the Spanish Super Cup.
Under Simeone, Atletico became a regular trophy contender outside of Spain as well, reaching the Champions League final in two of the last four seasons, both times losing to Real Madrid. It also made it to the Champions League semifinals last season, again losing to the city rival.
Atletico is fourth in the Spanish league standings after starting the season with a 2-2 draw at promoted Girona and a 5-1 win at Las Palmas. It plays at Valencia on Saturday.
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