5 Lessons from Diego Simeone’s interview for individuals and teams
On 13th April, 2016, Atletico Madrid played Barcelona in the second round of their Uefa Champions league quarter final tie. This came at a time when Barcelona was in their peak, brutally dismissing all opponents with their MSN attacking line. Atletico lost the first round by two goals to one but surprisingly managed to eliminate Barcelona by beating them two goals to nil in the return fixture.
I was very much inspired by what Atletico manager Diego Simeone said in an interview with Goal.com after the match.
“I’m happy for these players who have come together in this team; I’m not just thinking about reaching the semi-finals, it’s more important than that. There are fewer values in society all the time, but we are a group of honest workers who can win or lose. We make ourselves strong with the tools we have2.
“Once again, we have won a tremendously difficult game – but a very nice one. We never stopped believing. We worked knowing the situation, knowing what we can do3. In the first half the game was more like what we wanted, in the second it was closer to what they wanted. They had individuals who could break the game open, but we stayed together and stayed strong4.
“We were up against very good opponents, with great history and with players who can change a game in any moment. It was a match between teams with different strengths, and sometimes you win and we won today.
“These are moments that will not return. They are unique in football. We saw loads of children on our bus journey to the stadium. They believed in us. It was a special day5.”
Here is what Diego Simeone teaches about success and excellence in his interview:
1. Success is a teamwork endeavour.
No matter who you are, no matter how great you are, you can achieve ‘some’ success and excellence on your own. However, if you solicit help from other like-minded people, if you form a strong team and you work together, the team will achieve great exploits. As an individual too, you will achieve the excellence and success you so much desire. Seek help, come together as a team.
2. Be creative, improvise.
You are going to face situations where you realise that you lack some skill or tool to make success a reality in your life. However, instead of complaining, you have to creatively make use of what is available to you. Simeone says “we are a group of honest workers who can win or lose”- he admits to this inevitable fact because they don’t have all the tools and skills to make them invincible. But does that make them relent? NO! They make themselves strong with the tools they have. You are not going to have everything you need to achieve success. Don’t complain, don’t relent. IMPROVISE!
3. Know the situation, know what you can do and never stop believing (KKN)
Your journey to success will face setbacks. YES! You will be disappointed every now and then. It happens to everybody. You will fail, yes you will, but don’t give up. Whatever stumbling block you come up against, remember KKN – Know the situation, know what you can do and never stop believing. Never stop working.
4. Stay together, stay strong
It is not enough forming a team. It is not enough seeking help as an individual. It is not enough being creative and improvising. It is not enough knowing the situation, knowing what you can do and believing to the end. You need to stay together and stay strong. In the face of disappointments, when failure taunts and jeers at your every endeavour, when nothing seems to stick or come by, you have to stay together. Don’t stay together and stay weak, but stay together and stay strong. If you are an individual, collect yourself together and stay strong. Push! Keep pushing! Eventually success will break at your feet.
5. People will always believe in you. Ride on that faith and don’t disappoint.
No matter the level of opposition you face from people around you, don’t ever forget that people will always believe in you. They will always believe you can make it. They will always believe you can rise from the setback. They will always believe you can get to the top. Even if they don’t tell you, believe it is true. Ride on that faith and don’t disappoint.