No fear for new Atletico coach Simeone

28 December 2011 08:32

New Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone said Tuesday he welcomed the challenge of pulling his former team out of their slump in the Spanish league.

"It was always my aim to come back to Atletico as coach," Simeone said at his formal presentation at the Vicente Calderon stadium.

"I am coming with hope and with the desire to work. I am not afraid of coming to Atletico, or of the responsibility (of the job). It is something that excites me.

"I want the team to end up in a good place in the league."

The former Argentina midfielder was named last week as a replacement for Gregorio Manzano, who was fired following a miserable run of matches at the helm of the 'red and whites'.

Simeone played for Argentina in the 1994, 1998 and 2002 World Cups.

He served two spells at Atletico as a player, forming part of the team that won the Spanish league and cup double in the 1995-1996 season.

Atletico currently sit 10th in the Spanish top flight with only 19 points from 16 games, 21 points behind neighbours and leaders Real Madrid.

Simeone retired as a player in 2006 after a spell with Racing Avellaneda, one of several Argentine teams he went on to coach.

Source: AFP