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May 6, 2014

Simeone 'learned' from Pep and Jose

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone says he spent time watching and learning from both Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola earlier in his coaching career.

Diego Simeone is looking to follow in Jurgen Klopp's footsteps by outsmarting Jose Mourinho
Diego Simeone got the better of Jose Mourinho in this season's Champions League semifinal.

• Loss 'best thing' for Atleti
• Delaney: Secrets of Simeone

Simeone's Atletico side need four points from their last two games to claim the La Liga title, while they have also reached the Champions League final against Real Madrid.

Such achievements outshine both what Mourinho has done at Chelsea and Guardiola at Bayern this season, and are particularly impressive given the relatively scant resources available at the Estadio Vicente Calderon, as well as Simeone's previously brief managerial experience at Serie A side Catania and in Argentine club football.

The former Atletico midfielder told El Larguero radio show that at different times he had spent a week with both the managerial superstars as he was learning his trade as a coach.

"I went a week to see Mourinho at training, and another week with Guardiola," Simeone said. "I learned from the two, I took important things from both. I went when Guardiola had just begun his first competition at Barcelona [around 2008]. The same with Mourinho, when he was on the way to winning his first league with Inter [2009]. But I saw something different in them."

In a wide ranging interview recorded in the Calderon dugout, Simeone said he would stay at Atletico as long as he felt he could keep the club on an upward trajectory.

"We came in the first year with the objective of finishing fourth, we won the Europa League," he said. "We immediately found ourselves in the European Supercup, then we won the Copa del Rey... the people said, okay now what? There is always work to do to improve.

"The day I leave it will be because I feel I must leave and because we are not able -- for energy, for time... to respond to the players. How long since we made a Champions League final, how long since we were fighting for La Liga?

"We are in a moment of growth, and of continuing to live through positive moments. We do not stop to look at what we are doing, we keep getting up early, preparing well for training and being demanding."

Even though Atletico's players are on the cusp of the most successful season in the club's history, Simeone insisted his players don't feel pressure or fear, but responsibility.

"Vertigo is the nicest thing there is, I do not accept pressure, or fear, but responsibility," he said. "The psychological part is the strength which could enable us to make a step forward."

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