Sunday, December 16, 2007

Confirmed: Simeone Will be on the Bench in 2008

The search has ended: after a month of seeking a replacement for Daniel Passarella, River Plate have finally confirmed the arrival of Diego Simeone as our new coach. Unlike many of our ex-coaches (Ramon Diaz, Merlo, Passarella, Gallego, etc.), Simeone never wore our jersey as a player, yet he still has several aspects that can make us all aspire for a positive future.

As an athlete Diego played in several teams, but perhaps his most important appearance was for the Argentina National Team. He played for 14 years with the albiceletes, appearing in a total of 106 games between World Cups, Copa Americas, Olympics, friendly matches, and other encounters. He was often the captain of his teams, due to his strong personailty and great motivation skills. Luckily for us, those two traits can be vital to reverting a situation such as the one we currently are in.

Simeone made his debut as a coach in 2006, when he decided to manage the club he loves - Racing Club de Avellaneda. "La Academia" had a poor season, though "El Cholo" Simeone should not be blamed for it either, since the team was broken and in an even worse situation than River. In order to take over the role of Estudiantes' coach, he departed shortly before the season ended, and that's when his true managerial career began.

Once on Estudiantes' bench, Simeone began to create miracles. In spite of taking over a team that was closer to the relegation zone than to tournaments, he led them to success. In his first season there (Apertura 2006), he managed to win 7-0 in the teams derby (La Plata derby vs. Gimnasia (LP); equivalent to River vs. Boca for them), as well as the tournament itself. He led the team to finish first alongside Boca Juniors, and defeated them in a championship final, crowning the red-and-white team as champions for the first time in 23 years. After losing several star players during the January transfer window, "El Cholo" wasn't able to repeat the same campaign in the Torneo Clausura 2007, yet he still achieved the third place spot -a more than acceptable position for Estudiantes' normal standards-. In his last season there (Apertura 2007) he had a good campaign, and eventually departed to River.

On his arrival at the Monumental, Diego stated that he had players like Belluschi and Falcao in mind, though it seems that they are both very close to departing (a lot closer than many think). Either way, Simeone also stated his ambitions of bringing out the best of Ortega, Rosales, Ruben, and many others. His plans to play an offensive yet organized football sound tempting in River. His motivation skills bring faith to us all. For now, Diego "Cholo" Simeone sounds as the perfect coach, but only time will tell if his spell at the club is successful or not.

Side Note: View the side bar showing Fixtures & Results for some "pleasant" news (tip, tip: it involves Kaka). :D

1 comment:

loes said...

I'm so happy!!!!