Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone is fondly called as ‘El Cholo’ by the club fans. However, very few know about the reason for this nickname. Argentine players and managers are known by nicknames such as El Pulga, El Loco and El Fideo among others. Here’s why Simeone is called ‘El Cholo’.
El Cholo is not a shortened version of Diego Simeone’s name, nor does it have any particular meaning. However, the manager has himself opened up on his nickname while speaking to media outlet El Larguero. Simeone stated that there was an Argentine player called Carmelo Simeone during the 1970s, who was called as Cholo by his fans. Carmelo played as a right-back for Boca Juniors, while also making a few appearances for the Argentine national team.
Diego Simeone claims that around 1985, when he was with the Argentina youth team, a manager named Victorio Spinetto called him Cholo. It became the usual term to address him. However, when quizzed if Cholo meant something, Diego Simeone looked clueless.
Diego Simeone was mocked by Real Madrid fans during the derby clash between Los Blancos and Atletico Madrid last month. Fans chanted slogans like ‘Cholo Stay’ amid reports of a possible departure of the Argentine tactician from the Spanish capital.
Atletico Madrid are enduring a difficult campaign this season. The Rojiblancos were defeated by city rivals Real Madrid in the final of the Spanish Super Cup last December. They are placed fourth on the LaLiga points table, having bagged 40 points in 24 games this season.
Atletico Madrid are tied against defending European champions Liverpool in the first leg of Round of 16 of the Champions League. The match will be played at Wanda Metropolitano, Spain on Tuesday night (Wednesday according to IST).