Diego Simeone and his Atletico Madrid squad would be looking to turn around a disappointing season so far during their UCL Round of 16 clash with Manchester United. The ‘RojiBlancos’ have been already been knocked out of the Copa del Rey and are miles away from successfully defending their La Liga crown as they currently sit 5th, 15 points away from leaders and city rivals Real Madrid.
With the club’s premature end to the season already on the horizon, manager Simeone is under tremendous pressure with some fans even being bold enough to call for the sacking of the man whose name has been synonymous with that of the club for the past 10 years.
But the manager seems to be unfazed by all the pressure around as he was spotted doing a Maradonaesque warmup routine. As his team warmed up for training at the Wanda Metropolitano ahead of the UCL clash, Simeone was seen juggling the ball a number of times, exhibiting great close control before rounding off this routine with a finessed shot aimed at the bottom left corner of the goal.
Simeone can still play a bit, shame about the finish. pic.twitter.com/ux0gPT7qBy— Tom Allnutt (@TomAllnuttAFP) February 22, 2022
Simeone the player carried a playing style very similar to the philosophy with which he has built up the signature Atletico style over the years, being a hardworking, aggressive box-to-box midfielder.
But out on the pitch, the manager showed he could also switch it up with a few classy moves as his late compatriot Maradona has done for years in the past during warm-ups throughout legend’s playing career, just juggling and working on close control.
Perhaps a similar change up is required of Atletico who look to be grappling with an identity crisis at the moment and one that needs to be implemented quickly by Simeone if they are to come out on top against this unpredictable United side.