Diego Simeone names Jurgen Klopp among preferred successors at Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has named Jurgen Klopp among a trio of managers he would be happy to see succeed him in the Spanish capital.

Simeone is currently the longest serving manager at any club in one of Europe's 'big five' leagues and has enjoyed tremendous success with Atleti since taking over in 2011.

The former Argentina midfielder has won two La Liga titles, two Europa Leagues, one Copa del Rey and taken Madrid's second club to the Champions League final twice.

Regularly linked with the Premier League, speculation that Simeone might soon bring an end to his 12-year spell in charge of Atletico Madrid was nipped in the bud when he signed a contract extension until 2027 earlier this year.

Whoever does eventually replace Simeone will face one of the toughest follow-up acts in world football, with the Argentine's shadow set to loom large at the club for years to come.

However, when asked directly about who he would like to see take on the job in the future, Simeone named three big hitters in the world of football coaching – including Liverpool's Klopp.

In a quick-fire question and answer, he told Cadena SER: "One of the best Klopp, [Carlo] Ancelotti, [Mauricio] Pochettino… They are the coaches that I would like to be at Atletico."

Klopp's Liverpool contract is currently due to expire in 2026 – a year before Simeone's.

What Jurgen Klopp has said about Diego Simeone

While Simeone is clearly a big fan of Klopp, the Liverpool boss has had his issues with Atleti's style of play in the past.

When Simeone's side knocked the Reds out of the Champions League last 16 stage in March 2020, Klopp was critical of his opponents' defensive style.

"I don't understand why they play this type of football with the quality they have," he said. "Koke, Saul [Niguez], [Marcos] Llorente.

"They could play proper football.

"They didn't even have counter attacks in the 90 minutes."

READ MORE: The candidates to replace Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool – ranked

Diego Simeone and Jurgen Klopp in March 2020, ProShots

Later, when the two teams met again in the 2021/22 Champions League, Klopp toned down his previous comments while admitting his respect for Simeone.

"Look, first and foremost I think I said this after the second game, I was angry and disappointed about a lot of things… about life, a little bit, that things were going so wrong with the world at that moment," the Liverpool boss said.

"Diego Simeone is doing absolutely everything right. He is the current Spanish champion, he is at Atletico for a long, long time, very successful there, has a bunch of world-class players, keeps them on their toes, they fight with all they have for their lives. That says a lot about the quality of Diego.

"So I couldn’t respect more what they do. Do I like it? Not too much. But that’s normal, because I prefer a different kind of football. But that’s me. Other coaches prefer other styles of football."

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