Both Atlético Madrid and Real Betis entered the current international break after spectacular victories in LaLiga. Los Colchoneros secured a dramatic late winner through Diego Godín in stoppage-time to defeat Athletic Club, while Betis stunned the Camp Nou with a thrilling 4-3 win against first-place Barcelona. Now, both of their managers could be set to sign new deals in the near future.
Recent reports suggest that Diego Simeone and Quique Setién are set to finalise contract talks this season. Simeone’s situation would bring a significant pay raise according to MARCA, while the key point for Setién will be keeping him with Los Verdiblancos beyond 2020.
It is interesting that both are in similar situations, as the coaches have been integral to success at each of the clubs involved. But what makes it fascinating is how differently the manager’s view the game in terms of tactics and approach.
Simeone took over Atlético in 2011, and has shaped his squad in many ways just like he was as a player. A tough defensive midfielder in his day, the 48-year-old’s side will look to grind out positive results with a disciplined and patient approach. Silverware has backed up his style choice, most notably when Los Rojiblancos captured LaLiga’s crown during the 2013-14 term.
A Copa del Rey, a Spanish Super Cup and two UEFA Europa League titles have also been added to the trophy cabinet. Atlético ensured that the manager’s attack will be boosted as well, keeping Antoine Griezmann in the line-up and adding Thomas Lemar this past summer. The club and Simeone have truly built something special together at the Wanda Metropolitano, and it is exciting to see how they can improve things further.
At Betis, Setién has become the “anti-Simeone”, with a system of high-pressing and constant movement. His team have a flair and a proactive philosophy, making for some of LaLiga’s most entertaining recent fixtures.
Possession, quick passing and sharp runs can often combine for wonderful scenes at the Estadio Benito Villamarín, and the 60-year-old coach is the architect of it all. Betis finished sixth in the league last season, earning a place in Europe for 2018-19. While their form has suffered in parts of the campaign’s early stages, the victory at Barcelona was a glorious reminder of the magic that Setién can create with his players.
It can perhaps be inconsistent, but it is a style and passion that can’t be ignored. Betis were able to climb the table thanks to his guidance, and it feels right to let him finish what he started.
Atlético Madrid and Real Betis both want to put pressure on LaLiga’s title-holders and earn even more impressive results in Europe. With both potentially set to extend their time at their respective clubs, Diego Simeone and Quique Setién are the managers to make it happen. For football fans, it just doesn’t get any better.