Alonso sings Simeone’s praises

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FC Bayern München midfielder Xabi Alonso has highlighted coach Diego Simeone’s influence on Atletico Madrid ahead of the two teams’ Champions League encounter.

Having plied his trade at La Liga giants Real Madrid in a successful five-year spell, Alonso is well aware of Simeone’s tactical ingenuity, and believes Atleti are a force to be reckoned with in Europe, because of the Argentine mentor.

“It’s amazing what he has achieved at Atletico – they are now at the elite of European football,” he told Marca.

“He has that charisma and that leadership with the players and the fans, with whom he has a great and unique bond.

“That is down to Cholo and the atmosphere he has created at the club.”

When asked about where he could envisage Simeone plying his trade if he left Atletico, the 32-year-old pointed to Inter Milan as the coach’s next possible destination.

“I think he has to feel identified with projects, he wouldn’t just take on any old job – I could see him at Inter or Argentina in the future, I think those would fit,” he added.

“He is a super coach, but it is now too late in my career to work with him and whilst we might not always share the same ideas, it would have been fascinating for any player to be coached by him.”