On Sunday, Enrique Cerezo celebrates 20 years in charge of Atletico Madrid. During this time, he has overseen an incredible transition, with the club having been in deep trouble previously.
Things have improved significantly on and off the pitch, with Diego Simeone being the main reason for the former. The Argentine has brought much success to Atletico, including continual Champions League football, which they have secured again for next season.
Speaking to Diario AS, Cerezo opened up on El Cholo’s arrival at Atletico back in 2011.
“Simeone’s arrival came because the team was not going well. We were lucky to meet Simeone, who had trained in Italy, and in Argentina. It was a gamble, but we did not see it as a risk, because we were completely sure that he was going to do a great job, and he had shown his affection for the club.”
“He had high hopes of coming to Atletico. He came, but he came for good. It’s been eleven years, and it very difficult to have this length of stay in Spain and in Europe too. He has been fortunate that his work has been rewarded with titles. He will be a coach who will always remain in the club’s memory.”
Cerezo also hopes that Simeone will remain at Atletico for a good while yet, despite his current contract coming to an end in the summer of 2024.
“El Cholo will be here until the day he wants (to leave). The day he wants to leave, he will leave. Let it be within a long time, at least in another ten years.”
Atletico Madrid have been in sensational form in 2023, and Cerezo (and Simeone) will hope that they can build on this for next season and beyond.