Following Friday’s eagerly anticipated Champions League semi-final draw, iconic managers Diego Simeone and Jose Mourinho will face off again just one year after the Portuguese boss departed Madrid.
The last meeting between the two managerial icons ended in jubilation for Diego Simeone, as he guided his Atletico Madrid side to an excellent 2-1 victory over rivals Real Madrid in the Copa Del Rey final at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
That painful night in Madrid was a bitter pill to swallow for Mourinho, and he will be eager for his Chelsea side to turn the tables on the current La Liga leaders and reach the final.
The Blues, despite lacking a true goalscorer, have enough fire power to trouble Atletico Madrid and in Hazard, Willian and Schurrle, they will pose a far more direct threat than the Rojiblanco’s recent quarter-final rivals Barcelona.
In an interview with Spanish press AS ahead of Atletico Madrid’s La Liga clash with Getafe, Diego Simeone acknowledged Chelsea’s strengths and believes their players have improved from their last Champions League triumph in 2012.
“They are a difficult rival. They won the Champions League not long ago, and their players have improved since then.”
“Mourinho is a very capable boss, and they have a beautiful environment to play football. It’s an even semi-final clash.”
The first leg will be played in Madrid on Tuesday 22nd March, with Chelsea gaining home advantage in the return leg eight days later.
Who will reach the Champions League final in Lisbon?