Flick vs. Simeone: Clash of different coaching styles
Bayern’s opening game of this season’s Champions League group stage against Atletico Madrid is also a clash of two different coaching styles. On one side is the calming influence of Hansi Flick, up against the raw emotion of Diego Simeone. “Flick’s greatest strength is his calm and empathetic manner. He knows he’s no Diego Simeone, and it wouldn’t be authentic if he started acting like that on the sideline,” said Erich Rutemöller, who taught the current Bayern boss during his coaching course, to fifa.com.
Focus on tactical discipline
Even if the character of the coaches is different, the mentality of the two teams isn’t too far apart. Both men are all about tactical discipline and a clear approach, although doing so in opposite directions. A former battling midfielder and defensive specialist, Simeone’s primary objective is to keep a clean sheet, meaning his team often look to sit back and then counter. In contrast, Flick sets his side up to press the opposition hard and high up the pitch, which saw Bayern break scoring record after scoring record in last season’s Champions League.
Flick with victorious experience
Both coaches have been in the business a long time, even if Flick has only been the head coach at Germany’s record champions for less than a year. Simeone took over in Madrid back in January 2012, meaning the Argentine has far more Champions League experience (71 games) than his German counterpart (8). However, Flick managed to lift the trophy in the summer, something which Simeone has failed to do despite contesting two finals, in 2014 and 2016.
In terms of titles, both have a nice collection to their name. Simeone has twice won the Europa League with Atletico, as well as La Liga (2014) and the Copa del Rey (2013). As Joachim Löw’s assistant in the 2014 World Cup-winning Germany team, Flick also cleaned up with Bayern last season and was duly named the UEFA Men’s Coach of the Year only a few weeks ago.
Wednesday sees these two interesting but different characters face off for the first time. It’ll be exciting to see what the pair of coaching geniuses will come up with.
Be prepared for the Atletico clash with seven key facts and figures: