Kieran Trippier says Diego Simeone was a “massive” factor in his decision to leave Tottenham for Atletico Madrid.
The defender sealed a £20m move to Atletico this week, ending his five-year stay at Spurs for whom he made 114 appearances across all competitions.
Simeone’s impressive Atletico record: Five key things to know…
- Simeone was appointed Atletico manager in 2011 after leaving Racing Club.
- The Argentinian won the Europa League in 2011/12 and the Copa Del Rey the following season.
- In 2013/14, Atletico stunned the world of football by beating Real Madrid and Barcelona to the La Liga title.
- Since then, Atletico have reached two Champions League finals and won the Europa League again.
- Simeone has a 61.31% win rate with the club.
Trippier is set to become only the second Englishman to play for Atletico in the club’s 116-year history – and the 20th in La Liga – potentially performing his way back into Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad following a difficult season with Tottenham.
But his shaky form for Spurs wasn’t the only reason he decided to swap the Premier League for La Liga.
The 28-year-old has revealed Simeone’s presence at the Wanda Metropolitano was part of what convinced him to leave north London for Atletico.
“He was massive,” Trippier said of his new manager. “From watching Atletico over the years you see what he demands of his team, the work ethic. They give everything for the team, the badge. It’s like a big family here and I wanted to be a part of this.
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“For me, he’s one of the best managers in the world and it’s an absolute privilege to play for him and give everything I can for him.”
The right-back went on to divulge the nature of the discussions he held with Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, another highly regarded Argentine coach, before he joined his new club.
He added: “Me and Mauricio had a conversation about my future.
“I explained there was a big opportunity at Atletico Madrid and it was an opportunity that I didn’t want to turn down.”