December 23, 2011, Atlético de Madrid makes official the hiring of Diego Pablo Simeone, former player of the team that would replace Gregorio Manzano in the position. 10 years later, at El Larguero we remember its beginnings with a very special interview. Álvaro Domínguez, Atlético de Madrid defender, when the Argentine arrived on the bench, now dedicated to representing players, told how day-to-day is with ‘El Cholo’, in addition to giving us the keys to communion between him and the fans.
Did you think about your future like this?
“I didn’t think about it because I was very young. It came out of the blue and I had to reinvent myself quickly “
Do you remember how Simeone arrived 10 years ago?
“10 fast years that have flown by, but they have gone a long way. It came at a difficult time when Albacete eliminated us. The club looked for a former player to get the fans excited again and it didn’t go wrong “
You had a great squad the year Simeone arrived … What was the squad problem?
“The last 15 years have been good. It was a very irregular club. We could not find that balance defense, attack ”.
What changed when ‘El Cholo’ came to the bench?
“He came in and landed on his feet in the locker room. He earned his respect, that wardrobe was not so close and he harmonized it and changed the mentality of those of us who were there. He focused on the details and the mentality of ‘here you don’t lose anymore by the referee. At Atlético de Madrid when Simeone arrived he was called ‘El Pupas’; He changed all that mentality “
📻⚪🔴 Álvaro Domínguez (@ Adominguez15), former Atlético de Madrid player on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the arrival of ‘El Cholo ‘
🎙️ “At Atlético when Simeone arrived he was called ‘El Pupas’; He changed all that mentality” pic.twitter.com/P8PeTWkZ5u
– El Larguero (@ellarguero) December 23, 2021
Why do you think the fans are always dead with him?
“The fans recognize the one who has sweated blood and from the first day there were songs. He was the benchmark for the team and I think it’s the best thing that could have happened to achieve that respect. He positioned himself as captain of the ship and continues like this today. He has had great players at his disposal, but he is the leader and he is the one who decides “
Cholo managed to dazzle the fans even to continue training …
“I remember those training sessions at the Vicente Calderón. We were going to train and there were people cheering and you said ‘Oysters, this is serious’. Today you see him through the band and he continues to have that union with the fans “
How did you get your message across so quickly?
“There were a lot of foreigners, but in the first week they already found out. It is as if in the future Atlético does not have its best years and Fernando Torres takes the bench. It can be compared to that of Barça with Xavi or Madrid with Zidane ”.
Since Simeone arrived … Atlético de Madrid is a different club
“I don’t know if the budget that I had ten years ago has been multiplied by ten. You put your name very high, you reach the European finals, it has been a great success. Atlético de Madrid used to be very irregular ”.
Do you think Atlético is going through the worst moment of the ‘Cholo era’?
“It is difficult to explain, a year you win and months later it is difficult for you to get into the first four. Soccer varies by moods and due to injuries or casualties it can change from one day to the next. In bad times is when you have to be more united “
Does Cholo have a fixation for the Champions League?
“I’m not going to tell you that it hurt because no one imagined Atlético there, but it did hurt because the balance could tip, one way or another. Referee decisions in some final, are small details based on luck ”.
Have you won the decision when to march?
“I think the fans and the players recognize it. Everyone has an expiration date and that must be accepted, but we need all Atlético fans to recognize their work these ten years”