Saturday Jun 24, 2017  
     
 
  13/04/2011: El Cholo
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Diego Pablo Simeone born on 28 April 1970 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a defensive midfielder, he has been the most capped player ever for Argentina National Team by that time.

When he was 14, his youth coach Victorio Spinetto nicknamed him El Cholo as his energetic play reminded him of former Boca Juniors player and Argentine international Carmelo Simeone who had that nickname.

He started as football player in the lower divisions of Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield until 1987. His debut in the Argentine first division took place on 13 September 1987, in the game that the Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield lost by 2 goals to 1 against Gimnasia y Esgrima de La Plata.

In 1989 he joined the Italian team Pisa Calcio for 3 seasons. In 1992 he signed for Spanish club Sevilla for 2 seasons. In 1994 Atletico Madrid bought him, where he played for 3 years. His best season there was in 1995-1996, in which he was part of the club's 1996 La Liga and Copa Del Rey double triumph.

Simeone returned to Serie A with Inter Milan in 1997 and played two full seasons, winning the UEFA Cup in 1998 in a side spearheaded by Ronaldo up front. They beat his future club Lazio 3–0 in the final.

Simeone with SS Lazio

In 1999 Lazio, bankrolled by food empire Cirio and its owner Sergio Cragnotti and under the guidance of Sven Goran Eriksson, bought Simeone to join a strong Argentine flavour at the Biancocelesti which included veteran Nestor Sensini, Matias Almeyda, Hernan Crespo and the mercurial passing skills of Juan Sebastian Veron.

The side had gone close to the Scudetto just before Simeone's arrival and he helped deliver the championship after a gruelling season where Juventus led the standings by two points going into the last day, but a Juve loss at rainy Perugia coupled with Lazio's comfortable home win over Reggina at the Stadio Olimpico ensured Simeone's first Serie A title. After winning the double in Spain he would then add the Italian double as Lazio edged out Inter Milan to claim the 2000 Coppa Italia.

He went on to play three more seasons at the Biancocelesti which included more last day drama as a Simeone goal against former club Inter Milan on the last day of the 2001–02 campaign effectively ruined his old employers' title dream.

With Lazio Simeone has played 90 games and scored 15 goals.

Simeone with Argentina

For the Argentine team, Simeone amassed 106 caps since he started in 1988. Simeone won the 1991 and 1993 Copa América with Argentina. He played in the 1994, 1998 and 2002 World Cups. He was a member of the team that won the silver medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. As a midfielder, Simeone scored 11 goals for his country, including one in the final of the 1992 Confederations Cup.

During the 1998 World Cup, England's David Beckham was sent off for kicking Simeone in retaliation for a foul. Simeone later admitted to simulating the injury from the kick, in order to get Beckham sent off. In the following match, against the Netherlands, Simeone was injured by a tackle during his team's defeat. In the 2002 World Cup, his last, Argentina was eliminated in the group stage.

Simeone admitted to being "embarrassed" at having surpassed Diego Maradona as Argentina's most capped player (he has since been surpassed by Roberto Ayala and Javier Zanetti).

Currently, he is a head coach of Catania and will face Lazio on Sunday, 17 April 2011 at Stadio Massimino.

(Ali Alkatiri)

 
 
  Comments
 
 
Ed 4/14/2011 6:53:58 PM
One of my favourite players, I'll never forget the amazing run of four headed goals in the final four games to help win the Scudetto. To think he was just a makeweight in the Vieri sale - what a player to get as a makeweight!
 
 
 
 
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