Chelsea striker Fernando Torres has revealed his desire to work under Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone.
The Spain international, who turns 30 today, told reporters how he was helped by the Argentinian while they were teammates together at the Vicente Calderon. Simeone enjoyed two successful spells with Atletico between 1994-1997 and 2003-2005, when Torres was establishing himself as one of the best strikers in Spain.
And the Chelsea star, who has been linked with a move back to the Calderon on occasions over recent seasons, admits he would love to work under his old pal.
“I’ve had a lot of admiration for ‘El Cholo’ ever since we were teammates. He helped me a lot. He taught me how to be a captain; he taught me a lot in the seasons we played together at Atleti," Torres told Spanish newspaper AS.
"I always want to work with people I admire. I admired Rafa Benítez from the outside, and I had the chance to work with him. The same goes for José Mourinho or Luis Aragonés. I’ve been lucky enough to work with people who, when you saw them from the outside, you said: ‘What have they got, what’s their secret, why do all the teams they coach work well…?
"Simeone is like [Pep] Guardiola or like other coaches, who you’d like to go and see how they coach and learn.”
Simeone has cemented his status as one of the best coaches in Europe since joining Atletico Madrid in 2011. The former Atletico captain has transformed the side, helping them win the Copa del Rey, the Europa League and the Super Cup over the two years.
Atletico will be desperate to keep hold of the 43-year-old this summer, although they may have an impossible job on their hands if he guides Atletico to La Liga glory for the first time since 1996 this season.