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Should Atletico Madrid sack Simeone?

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Atletico Madrid used to be a trigger savvy club when Diego Simeone first took charge of the club back in 2011.

The Argentinian replaced Gregorio Manzano, who was dismissed by Los Rojiblancos once before in 2001.

In between Manzano’s two dismissals, nine more head coaches were let go by the Atletico hierarchy.

A chance hiring that paid off

Having spent five years at Atletico as a player, Simeone was no stranger to the Vicente Calderon climate.

As a manager, however, he did not have much European experience.

But, the board decided to take a chance on him anyway. It turned out to be one of the best decisions they ever made.

Atletico finished fifth that year and won the Europa League.

The next season, Atletico overcame their city rivals Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final.

It was Atletico’s first win over Real in 26 competitive meetings. But the real surprise came the season that followed. 

Atletico Madrid defied all odds to win the La Liga in 2013/14 and came close to lifting the Champions League as well.

They became the Champions League runner-ups again in 2016, won the Europa League again two years later, and reclaimed the La Liga title in 2021.

He built a winning mentality

Simeone’s tactical approach is not universally admired, but even his harshest critic can’t deny that Simeone has brought about revolutionary changes in the club over the past decade or so.

But, has he taken the club as far as he could? Has ‘’Simeone Ball’’ hit the saturation point?

Atletico’s surprisingly dismal form in 2021/22 begs this question.

Yes, Atletico had won the league only eight months ago under Simeone, but there are countless instances of managerial dismissals months after winning a major silverware.

Modern football is capitalistically brutal, and past achievements barely give managers any elbow room these days.

How bad are we talking?

Atletico Madrid just got kicked out from the Copa del Rey losing to Real Sociedad, they lost the Spanish Super Cup semi-final to Bilbao, and they are 16 points adrift the top spot in the league.

Domestically things are going pretty terrible. 

Simeone’s men are still in the Champions League.

But, they were incredibly lucky to make it past the group round as they lost three matches as opposed to their two wins.

The resilience and fight of classic Simeone’s Atletico were rarely present.

Why are Atletico Madrid struggling?

First of all, they are not good going forward.

Antoine Griezmann looks like a shadow of the player who used to terrorise the opposition wearing the Atletico shirt.

Luis Suarez seems set for an exit after falling out with Simeone.

Joao Felix shows bits and pieces of his quality every now and then but his sporadic brilliance doesn’t justify his €127 million price-tag.

Matheus Cunha was brought in for €26m but he didn’t get enough chances to make an impact. 

But, it’s Atletico’s form on the other end of the pitch that will be of more concern to Simeone.

Shoddy Defence

Over the years, Atletico have built a reputation for their excellent defending.

In 2015/16, they conceded only 18 goals throughout the season, which happens to be a La Liga record. 

This season, they have shipped 24 goals in only 20 La Liga matches.

Last season, the reigning Spanish champions let in only 25 goals in the entire season. 

Moving away from his working formula can be cited as the root of this problem.

Diego Simeone has been the most notable user of the classic 4-4-2 in modern football, and it has served him good.

To make the best use of Atletico’s current attacking assets, however, the 51-year-old has been experimenting with some other formations.

In his last five Atletico matches, Simeone has gone for four different formations including a 4-5-1, 3-5-2, 4-4-2, and a 4-2-3-1.

Needs to act fast

We believe it’s still too soon for Diego Simeone to worry about his job at Atletico Madrid.

He has just signed a new three year contract at the club.

Not to mention, he has executive-like powers at the club, thanks to his incredible legacy.

But, Simeone would be well aware of the fact that the tables might turn on him if he fails to stop the rot anytime soon. 

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FOOTBALL

WATCH: Cristiano Ronaldo performs obscene gestures as fans chant Lionel Messi’s name

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Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi

During the Saudi Pro League game between Al Shabab and Al Nassr, Nassr skipper Cristiano Ronaldo was seen making obscene gestures towards rival fans. The Shabab fans were chanting Ronaldo’s biggest rival Lionel Messi’s name. Not for the first time though, some Saudi football fans do prefer Messi over the Portuguese player. Meanwhile, during the game on Sunday, the Portugal international crossed all the limits as he made some obscene gestures.

Watch the video here

Talking about the game, the Yellow Brigade, Nassr won against Shabab. Ronaldo gave his team as he made the most of the penalty in the 21st minute of the game. However, in the injury time of the first half, Yannick Carrasco scored an equalizer before going into the break. In the first minute of the second half, Anderson Talisca gave a lead to Nassr. In the 67th minute, Carlos scored the equalizer for Shabab, and the game looked like ending in a tie before Talisca scored the match-winning goal in the 86th minute.

Meanwhile, the former Real Madrid player is set to face disciplinary action. As per the Saudi writer and television host, the disciplinary committee might take action.

“The disciplinary committee is facing the biggest test. We will wait and see. Everything has its limits, no matter how famous you are. This is how the major leagues are” Waleed Al Farraj, a prominent Saudi writer and television host, said on X.

Cristiano Ronaldo faced disciplinary action during his stint with Manchester United

A few months before the FIFA World Cup 2022, he threw a fan’s phone when he was part of the English club, Manchester United. He was banned for a few games which meant that he missed a few games for his current club, Nassr. However, the ban didn’t apply in the World Cup as he was available for selection during the tournament, in which his team lost the Quarterfinal to Morrocco.

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Virgil Van Dijk’s late strike in extra time helps Liverpool beat Chelsea in Carabao Cup final

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Liverpool emerged victorious in the Carabao Cup final in 2024. In a thrilling game which was full of twists and turns, Liverpool managed to beat Chelsea to clinch the cup. Jurgen Klopp’s men were awarded with the winner’s medal as they edged out Chelsea in a low-scoring thriller that went to extra time. The defence of both sides was good to watch.

The match had many edge-of-the-seat moments. In the first half, Liverpool attempted a lot of shots over Chelsea. While some were out of target, some were in the target, but stopped by the goalkeeper. Cody Gakpo was unlucky to find the ball hit the goalpost. The strike of the youngster went in vain as the first half did not witness any goal.

Liverpool’s skipper was brilliant in the game. He martialed his troops well and got the coordination going for a long time. He in fact nearly had a goal in the first half, only to be ruled out by the VAR, which was highly controversial. There is a debate for the legitimacy of the goal which was not given despite the help of the technology. Liverpool did not get carried away with the moment.

Captain brilliant Virgil Van Dijk steps up in crunch moments

Klopp deployed younger players as substitutes in the 2nd half. It helped Liverpool a lot as they were able to not just put pressure on Chelsea but also create a lot of chances. While none of them were converted to goals in the second half, they ensured that Chelsea’s players were in check. At one stage, the absence of Mohammad Salah in the middle was felt.

The match went to the extra time, where things got a bit closer. Chelsea attempted to score goals but ended up giving more advantage to Liverpool. The younger legs marked well and provided good assists to the forwards. The moment came in the 118th minute of the game, when Van Dijk netted the goal and helped Liverpool to win the prestigious title.

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Virat Kohli picks his ‘Sporting GOAT’

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Virat Kohli was asked to pick his ‘Sporting GOAT’ in a recent interview. The star cricketer was interviewed by Team Blue Rising who asked him to name the greatest sportsperson of all time. “Who is your Sporting GOAT?” asked the host to the star batter. Kohli did not hesitate to take the name of one of the greatest Football players as his pick for the question.

The Indian batter claimed Cristiano Ronaldo to be the greatest Football player of all time. “For me, it’s Cristiano Ronaldo,” said Virat in the interview. It came as no surprise to the fans, as Virat has always been a huge admirer of the star Footballer. Even in the past, the 35-year-old has expressed his admiration for the star player from Portugal.

In many instances, the Indian batter has claimed Ronaldo to be his favourite player. Ronaldo has been one of the best players the sport has ever seen. Many claim him to be arguably the greatest Sportsperson of all time. Virat has joined the list of those to claim him to be the greatest athlete in the sports world. Ronaldo has some records to back his claim for the title.

Legacy of Cristiano Ronaldo and Virat Kohli

The Portuguese Footballer has the greatest number of goals for an international team. He also has the greatest number of international caps for a player. The star player is the only player to win four major cups with two different clubs. He did it with Manchester United and Real Madrid. Cristiano has the second most number of Ballon d’Or titles (Five) after Lionel Messi.

Virat, on the other hand, is a great cricketer. He has the greatest number of hundreds for a batter in ODIs. Virat has the greatest number of hundreds in ODIs while chasing. He is also the highest run scorer for India in T20Is. Kohli has the most runs for a batter in the IPL. He has the greatest number of POTT awards for a player in the T20 WC and the ODI WC.

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