Five facts on Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone
Five facts on Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone ahead of Tuesday's Champions League semi-final first leg clash with Chelsea at the Vicente Calderon Stadium:
1 - Simeone spent half an hour in the shower after his last match as a player deciding whether he should move into football coaching. Seemingly took the right decision as despite being the only one of the four coaches in the semi-finals not to have yet won the Champions League -- this is the first time he has coached a club in the competition -- he won two Argentinian league titles (Estudiantes 2006, River Plate 2008) before taking over Atletico in December 2011 and delivered the Europa League that season and Copa del Rey last term.
2 - Eats dinner with his wife and two children every evening. Nothing extraordinary in that except they are in Buenos Aires. They lay a place at the table and a laptop and he joins them by what he describes as the 'miracle' of Facetime.
3 - Those Chelsea fans old enough to remember him as a player will recall his over reaction to David Beckham's kicking out in the 1998 World Cup Last 16 match with Argentina which saw the English icon sent off.
"I had tackled him," Simeone told The Guardian in 2002.
"We both fell to the ground. As I was trying to stand up that was when he kicked me from behind. And I took advantage of that. And I think any person would have taken advantage of that in just the same way. Sometimes you get sent off, sometimes you don't. Unfortunately for the English team that time they lost a player. Anyway, you take advantage of all the opportunities you find in your life. If you don't take advantage of a chance that comes your way you are lost."
4 - Simeone is renowned now for his ability to think outside the box principally in preparing his players for matches. Such was the case prior to a league match with Athletic Bilbao on March 29. Simeone asked Spanish Paralympic skier and journalist Irene Villa -- who lost both her legs and three fingers of one hand aged just 12 in a bomb atrocity by ETA in 1991 -- to give the squad their pre match pep talk.
'Winning is very close to losing and the harder you fight the better chance you have," Simeone told Mail Online afterwards.
It paid off as Atletico came from behind in Bilbao to win 2-1 and go back to the top of the table.
5 - Prefers to leave his eve of match team talks at the team hotel to just before the players go to bed. As he told Mail Online: "Just like children, they listen best just before bedtime."