Diego Simeone fondly remembered his time at Lazio, revealing some memories and commenting on the idea of returning in the future.
The former midfielder spent four years of his playing career with the Biancocelesti from 1999 to 2003, helping the side win a Scudetto, a Coppa Italia, a Supercoppa Italiana and a UEFA Super Cup.
After retiring, Simeone entered the world of coaching, bouncing around various Argentinian clubs before joining Atletico Madrid, where he’s become a household name for his incredible achievements at the club.
Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport (via La Lazio Siamo Noi), Simeone first spoke about the strengths of his Lazio side and this season’s Scudetto winners Napoli.
That Lazio was the strongest team I ever played in, in terms of individuals. This Napoli is even more solid as a group and system.
He touched on the Argentine core during his time at Lazio and his relationships with Roberto Mancini and Juan Sebastian Veron.
True. But there were so many other very strong players, every training session was a battle. Once I remember that Mancini sprinted, but I didn’t pass him the ball and he got angry. I told him: ‘You weren’t going to make it on the long ball’.
He replied: ‘You were supposed to make a pass behind the defensive line, not a long ball’. He was right. That sentence stuck with me and today I teach it to my players. We were not great friends, but good coaches came out of that group.
Veron and I didn’t get on, we didn’t talk to each other, but on the pitch, we understood each other. I think of the assist for the goal with which we beat Juve in Turin. A decisive goal for the Scudetto.
He was asked if he would ever return to Serie A as a coach.
I often meet Inter and Lazio fans who ask me to come back. Who knows? It would certainly please me.
Finally, Simeone discussed his son Giovanni’s move to Napoli last summer.
When he told me there was the possibility of coming here, I didn’t need to convince him. And immediately after he arrived, he told me on the phone ‘Dad is beautiful, I want to win something important here’. And he succeeded!