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Diego Simeone is among the highest-paid managers in world football but he also appears to be the most superstitious in the game.
As per El Chiringuito, both flights to Manchester left Madrid at 11:30, while Atleti travelled on the same bus and stayed in very same hotel as last time.
Marcos Llorente was the player chosen for both press conferences. The media conference was scheduled for the same hour and so too was training.
But that was just a glimpse of how meticulous a man Simeone really is. In December, Guilherme Siqueira, who played for Atleti for three years, shed light on what Simeone is like behind the scenes.
According to the defender, the Argentine had to stick to a pre-match schedule and the same playlist had to be played on the bus and in the changing rooms.
What's more, he always had a superstitious act involving the ball following the warm-up.
“Atleti have the most superstitious coaching staff I have seen in the history of football, I have never seen anything like it,” Siqueira told ESPN Brasil, via Squawka.
“We had a protocol when leaving the hotel, on the bus and until the moment of the game. On the bus the same list of music had to always be played. Also in the locker room.
“When we came back from our warm-up, Simeone was always hitting a ball with his hand against the ground. Before making a circle with the players, he gave the ball to the captain. The captain did the same and it had to be that way, he couldn’t change.
“It took me a while to assimilate his pre-match rituals. When I arrived I was only looking at what I could and what I couldn’t do.”
The music would normally be Reggaeton, Spanish, and Latin music. And on the occasion it went off and there was silence, Simeone lost it.
“One day the music on the bus stopped and he went crazy, like we were already 1-0 down," Siqueira continued.
"He shouted ‘put the music on!’ I had to tell him to calm down.”
Seemingly always wearing all black, 'El Cholo' also refuses to shake hands with the opposition manager after the game and immediately darts down the tunnel.
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