Simeone’s pending victory

There are no middle terms for the
Atlético de Madrid,
pressed and forced to win on Saturday at Barcelona in the Camp Nou; the triumph pending Diego Simeone, who has conquered there a League in 2014, but he has never won a match in 13 visits, between different circumstances, plans and players.

There is no other formula for depending on yourself from here to the end of the course. Win, win, win and win again, as I said Lewis
Aragonese, magnificent legend of the rojiblanco club. Need the Athletic four victories in the four remaining days to not serve anyone but himself to be the champion of the League.

First, the Barcelona; after the Real society and the Osasuna, in two consecutive matches at his stadium; and then him Valladolid in the new Jose Zorrilla. Two points above his closest pursuers (Barcelona Y Real Madrid), there is no more margin. Not even to maintain the leadership that it has held continuously for 18 days, since last December 16.

If he wins, he will remain above all, nine points away from achieving the single objective; Whether it ties will depend on the Sunday result of the Real Madrid in front of Seville -If it wins, it will exceed the Athletic because of the particular difference in their duels – and if he loses he will fall off the top. You will be overtaken by Barcelona and it will be necessary to see if the Real Madrid.


The Camp Nou and the Barcelona represent the unapproachable challenge of even the most winning coach in the history of the Athletic, by matches and by competitions, with the only exception in that field that means the League that won in 2013-14, but with a 1-1, with the goal of Diego Godin now forever in the best history of the Madrid entity.

Victory there is the last barrier of Simeone on Spain. Has bowed down Barça in the Vicente Calderón (1-0 and 2-0 in 2013-14 and 2015-16, respectively, in the quarterfinals of the Champions League) and in the Metropolitan Wanda (1-0 last November 21 in the League) but never in that field, with seven defeats and six draws; none of them valid as the championship is.

For more laps he has given to his starting lineups -twelve different in thirteen visits-, with only one similarity in 2013-14 between the quarterfinals of the League
Champions and the decisive game for the League, both with 1-1 (Thibaut Courtois; Juanfran Torres, José María Giménez, Diego Godín, Filipe Luis; Arda Turan, Gabi Fernández, Tiago Mendes, Koke Resurrection; Diego Costa and David Villa); for more players that has been used for this purpose -45 different footballers, only Koke Resurrection He has repeated in each starting team-, and for more approaches that he has proposed, with high pressure, with retreat, with a defensive or more offensive plan, with attacks from one flank or another, with more or less ambition …

Although he has scored in nine of his thirteen visits (in eight a goal and in one, the last, two, in the 2-2 last year, for a total of ten goals) and although he has almost always transmitted a competitive aspect -also harmless some appointments-, it has not yet been possible to win it, with the reason that only once he left his clean sheet there, in the 0-0 in the 2013 Spanish Super Cup, or that in two of the last three visits it didn’t even create opportunities.


The last victory of the Athletic in the Camp Nou It belongs to another era and another decade. As of February 5, 2006, when they won 1-3, with two goals from Fernando Torres. Since then, the Athletic link 20 games without winning there: 12 losses and 8 draws.

When that triumph happened, Simeone I was still a player in the ranks of Racing Club. A day later, on February 6, 2006, he was proposed as coach of the Argentine team, after the resignation of the then coach of the team of the ‘Cylinder’, Fernando Quiroz. He still rushed three games as a player to make the jump to the bench.

15 years ago. Such is the dimension of the streak of the Athletic in that scenario, lowered in terms of defeats, but extended in terms of the drought of victories, in the era Simeone, among multiple causes, details in each game, with Barcelona many times above, but also sometimes the Athletic… And without any victory.


One main reason, perhaps unmatched, is Lionel messi, but not the only one. “If we take off his shirt and put the AthleticWe would have won 1-0 anyway ”, he said Simeone after the 1-0 of the Barcelona team on March 4, 2018, with a free kick from the Argentine ’10’ that made the difference in a duel without chances.

He has scored eight goals there at Athletic from 2012-13. Of those goals, three were indispensable for as many defeats for the rojiblanco team, in addition to one for the most recent 2-2. At once, Messi He has scored the last three times he has received that opponent in the Camp Nou, when Luis Suarez it was also a threat.

Because the Uruguayan attacker, today in the Athletic, has also had a lot to do with the frustration of the Simeone. Between him and Messi they monopolized 15 of the last 19 goals that Barça has scored on that stage. In the case of Luis Suarez it was six goals in his last eight meetings there against his current team.

In addition, the Athletic he failed to maintain the advantage to win in four of his thirteen visits. One ended in a draw, in 2013-14 in the Champions League. Three others in defeat: on his first visit with the coach, on December 16, 2012, when Radamel Falcao scored 0-1 and then lost 4-1; on the Champions League 2015-16, after 0-1 Fernando Torres, then sent off (2-1); and in the League duel of the same course, when Koke gave him an advantage (2-1).

The high pressure of his adversary sometimes, with the problems that he always generates for the exit of the ball; the lack of hitting others, when he did come out for victory; the repetitive a few occasions defensive tendency and some expulsions (six out of thirteen visits) also represent factors that contribute to the Camp Nou is still inaccessible to Simeone. On Saturday you need to win.