Name: Diego Simeone
Position: Defensive Midfield
Then: Simeone will be forever remembered by England fans as the man who got David Beckham sent off during the 1998 World Cup. Perhaps this is the best way to describe his playing style…he would win at any cost. He was like a pitbull; energetic and hard in the tackle. In 1994, Simeone hit the big time as he was signed by Spanish giants Atletico Madrid. During his time with the club, he helped them lift the 1995-1996 La Liga title and Copa Del Rey. He was soon snapped up by Inter Milan for £4.2 million and, again, helped the side to cup success – this time the UEFA Cup. In the build up to the 1999-2000 season, Lazio manager Eriksson identified him as the man to anchor his predominantly attacking line up. He was quickly snapped up for an undisclosed fee thought to be close to £6 million.
Now: Simeone is perhaps one of the most marketable managers in the world game. In the 2013-2014 season, he defied the odds and led his Atletico Madrid side to their first La Liga title since 1996. He did this despite a limited budget and a squad dismantled by outstanding transfer bids – £50 million for Falcao anyone? In the summer of 2015, Simeone was linked with the perilously perched managerial post at Manchester City. However, he quickly quashed any rumours by signing a new contract with Atletico until 2020. In terms of his Lazio career, the Argentine – like Mihaljovic – stayed at the club for four years before finishing his career back in his native. His successful managerial career often overshadows his spell during the mid-nineties as a one of Europe’s top midfielder generals.