Football News

‘I’ve never seen anything like it’ — Diego Simeone’s “crazy” pre-match rituals revealed by former Atletico defender

By Ben Green

Published: 16:06, 16 December 2021

Former Atletico Madrid defender Guilherme Siqueira says Diego Simeone is “the most superstitious coach in the history of football.”

Simeone has garnered a reputation as one of football’s more animated and vocal tacticians, with his trademark emotional outbursts, flailing arms and impassioned rants before, after, and during games now synonymous with his very up-and-at-em coaching style.

While Marcelo Bielsa is renowned for his perched posture, Sam Allardyce for his occasional appearance up in stands and Andre Villas-Boas for his post-goal delirium, Simeone revels in his status as a quasi-cheerleader for Atleti, screaming from the touchline for the full 90 minutes.

It’s a managerial trait that has served his career in the dugout well, particularly for Atleti, whom across 10 years, the Argentine has collected two La Liga medals, two Europa Leagues, the 2013 Copa del Rey, two appearances in the Champions League final and two Super Cups, as well as a Supercopa de Espana.

Siqueira started both legs in the triumph of the latter in 2014, in which Atleti beat crosstown rivals Real Madrid 2-1 on aggregate in Spain’s equivalent of a domestic Super Cup, with Simeone naturally getting sent off after only 26 minutes in the home tie after he patted the referee’s assistant on the back of the head.

Siqueira, 35, who bowed out of the game in 2017, spent three years at Atleti between 2014 and 2017, and the former Brazilian left-back has now lifted the lid on some of the pre-match antics of one of football’s more curious and emotionally-charged managers.

“Atleti have the most superstitious coaching staff I have seen in the history of football, I have never seen anything like it,” Siqueira told ESPN Brazil.

“We had a protocol when leaving the hotel, on the bus and until the moment of the game. On the bus the same list of music had to always be played. Also in the locker room.

Bet £10, Get £20 in Free Bets T&Cs apply

18+, UK only. Deposit and place a minimum £10 cash bet at single or accumulated odds of 1/1 or greater and we will give you 1 x £5 in free bets plus an extra 3 x £5 Free Bets the following day. Applies to first cash bet only. Free bets credited as 4 x £5 bets to use on 3x Any sport & 1x Virtuals. Cashed Out, Void or Draw No Bet wagers do not qualify for this promotion. 1 x £5 Free Bets are credited upon qualifying first bet settlement, other free bets credited by midday the day after your first bet settles. 7-day free bet expiry. Available once per customer. This offer cannot be combined with any other promotion. Full T&C’s apply.

18+ only. New UK customers only. T&Cs apply.

Claim Here
Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets T&Cs apply

18+ only. Use code BET30. New Players Only. Minimum stake $/€/£ 10, minimum odds1.5, stake not returned.1X wagering the winnings from the free bet. Wagering occurs from real balance first. Wagering requirement is calculated on bonus bets only, wagering starts from real funds. Free bet is valid for 7 Days from issue. Max conversion: $/€/£ 200. Excluded Skrill deposits. Withdrawal requests voids all active/pending bonuses. Full Terms Apply

18+ only. New customers only. T&Cs apply.

Claim Here
£20 in free bets when you place a £10 bet T&Cs apply

18+ only. £10 min. deposit required. 1 x £10 qualifying bet required. Qualifying bet must be placed on selection with min. odds of 1.8 (4/5). 4 x £5 Free Bets will be credited once the qualifying bet has been settled. 1 x Free Bet valid for any Football Match Result market. 1 x Free Bet valid on any Football Correct Score market. 1 x Free Bet valid on any Horse Racing market. 1 x Free Bet valid on any Tennis market. Free Bets valid for 7 days once credited. T&Cs apply.

18+ only. New customers only. T&Cs apply.

Claim Here

“When we came back from our warm-up, Simeone was always hitting a ball with his hand against the ground. Before making a circle with the players, he gave the ball to the captain. The captain did the same and it had to be that way, he couldn’t change.

“It took me a while to assimilate his pre-match rituals. When I arrived I was only looking at what I could and what I couldn’t do.”

Siqueira went on to describe, in detail, just how superstitious Simeone was when it came to music. “There was everything on the playlist,” Siqueira continued.

Reggaeton, Spanish, Latin music, but it was always the same pen drive. And good luck to anyone who wanted to change the music.

“One day the music on the bus stopped and he went crazy, like we were already 1-0 down. He shouted ‘put the music on!’ I had to tell him to calm down.”


Sign up to the Best Football Offers

A valid email is required.

Invalid e-mail.

Yes I am over 18.
Yes, I would like to receive email updates on exciting offers from For more info on how we and our partners process your data, see Privacy and Cookie Policies.
You need to confirm that you are over 18 and that you want to receive updates.

*By subscribing you are confirming that you are over 18 years of age.

*All emails include an unsubscribe link, where you can opt out any time. *Please see our privacy and cookies policy..


Newsletter error