'Ruthless Simeone used to be the Roy Keane of Atletico Madrid'
The ex-Manchester United left-succor reminisces about his time at Colchoneros where his reliable occupation took off
Outmoded Bafana Bafana defender Quinton Fortune is no longer any longer shocked at how Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid pipped Staunch Madrid and Barcelona to the Spanish title in essentially the most attention-grabbing-ended advertising and marketing campaign.
It used to be Simeone’s 2d La Liga triumph since returning to Atletico as a coach in December 2011.
In 1996, Fortune shared the Atletico dressing room with the Argentine whom he describes as a fiery personality because the Colchoneros captain.
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Now with the Spanish giants having moreover claimed two Europa League titles, a Copa del Rey and reaching two Uefa Champions League finals under Simeone, Fortune feels his extinct teammate must nonetheless be talked about within the identical breath because the arena's most attention-grabbing soccer managers.
“Diego Simeone used to be love the Roy Keane of Atletico Madrid on the time. He used to be an actual chief, very vocal, he used to be ruthless along with his game,” Fortune informed La Liga South Africa. “He used to be a conventional Argentinian who would no longer present you with the relaxation on the pitch.
"I'm no longer shocked that he has been so successful as supervisor of Atletico and I'm happy that he and the membership managed to seize La Liga one more time this season. The formulation Diego coaches is the map in which he used to be as a player.
“He used to be relentless and he drove the membership to the title this season. He has been their 12th man, kicking and heading every ball from the touchline, and the followers fully love him. What he has done at Atletico as supervisor is nice. He has bought to be rated amongst the likes of Pep Guardiola as one amongst the particular managers within the arena exact now.”
Fortune revisits his days at Atletico where he played under the gradual Serb Radomir Antic who signed him from Tottenham Hotspur as a 19-yr-mature in 1996.
The ex-Manchester United left-succor moreover relives his Atletico debut in opposition to a superstar-studded Barcelona in a match wherein he marked the Brazilian Ronaldo.
“Radomir Antic gave me my Atletico debut in opposition to Barcelona. They'd the customary Ronaldo, Pep Guardiola, Luis Figo and Ivan de La Pena in their workforce that day,” stated Fortune.
“Radomir requested me to ticket Ronaldo, the particular player within the arena and one amongst the superb gamers of all time. I ponder he scored a hat-trick in opposition to us that day, he truly used to be exceptional.”
That season, Simeone captained Atletico to their ninth 1995/96 La Liga crown, the vital one since 1977.
Staunch Madrid, laced with some superstars, went on to enact a a lot away sixth, Barcelona on mumble three, whereas Valencia were runners-up.
“It used to be fully thoughts-blowing being section of the Atletico squad in 1996 that obtained the Spanish league and cup double. I nonetheless have the diminutive small La Liga and Copa del Rey trophies we were given by the league that season, which is terribly special,” Fortune stated.
It took the return of Simeone, now as coach, for Atletico to fetch their 10th La Liga title within the 2013/14 season earlier than their most up-to-date success.
Fortune spent three years in Madrid earlier than a reported £1.5 million transfer to Manchester United in August 1999.
“It used to be a truly loopy abilities for all of us and an honour being section of the enormous, improbable workforce Radomir formed at Atletico,” Fortune concluded. “He played me in numerous positions, left soar succor, striker, midfielder. I in actuality learnt so a lot for the duration of my time at Atletico, it used to be an actual soccer education.”