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Opinion: ‘Cholismo’ is alive and well at Atletico Madrid

Cholismo, Atletico Madrid
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It’s time to talk about the term ‘Cholismo’. What it means for Atletico Madrid fans and why it’s more alive than ever before. 

The term ‘Cholismo’ has been mentioned repeatedly around the world over the last decade, today it’s more alive than ever. This is a direct reference to manager Diego Simeone’s nickname: ‘Cholo’. The world of football refers to him in this manner since he was a player. It describes a marginalized social class in Argentina that is better known for its mixed-race status.

Although the term lost the negative connotation over the years, it is still used throughout the country to describe these individuals. But during his time as a player, Diego Simeone gave the word ‘Cholo’ a whole new meaning. This nickname is widely associated with a player who always gave the sport his heart and soul.

‘Cholo’ never gave up on a single chance to recover a ball with everything he had. As a manager, he was able to transmit this fighting spirit into all his the players he coached thus far. From the moment he set foot on Atletico Madrid, the world knew that ‘Cholismo’ was born in Spanish football.

The best clubs in Europe during his tenure have crashed and burned against this style of play that is often misunderstood. Just last night, Jurgen Klopp came after Simeone’s style and criticized it for being too defensive. 

‘Cholismo’ means playing to win. 

After last night’s historic victory at Anfield Road, the Liverpool manager made the terrible decision to come after the Argentine manager. Simeone responded in the most typical fashion we know from him. When asked what he thought about the way his teams play and how he is criticized by the opposition. ‘Cholo’ simply responded that his teams always ‘play to win’. It’s as simple as that.

Even Simeone knows that his style may not be as attractive as the rest of the styles in European football. But he will die defending his ideals until he manages to win as many trophies as he can. The numbers don’t lie when it comes to ‘Cholismo’ and the effect it’s causing throughout Europe’s elite football.

Atletico Madrid has defeated FC Barcelona when they had Neymar, Suarez, and Messi at their peak. The Colchoneros also defeated Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich, Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, and Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool last night.

If ‘Cholismo’ is that effective, there is no reason for Simeone to change his philosophy. This is the model that works and he knows how important it is for the future of the club. There is only one player who can stop Simeone’s model, we know you can make an educated guess of who that is. 

Diego Simeone’s kryptonite. 

A few years ago when Lionel Messi kept losing consecutive finals with Argentina, there was a very interesting leaked Diego Simeone phone call. In this audio recording, ‘Cholo’ spoke to assistant manager German Burgos about the differences between Leo and Cristiano Ronaldo. He clearly told his second in command that he preferred the Portuguese player for his club due to his nature as a clutch star.

Messi doesn’t have this skill to score goals in the most stressful moments as Ronaldo does. When you look at the history of Cristiano facing Simeone’s teams, you understand what he says. Out of all the European clubs of the era, ‘Cholismo’ only doesn’t work against clubs where Ronaldo plays.

In fact, the Portuguese star already scored four hat-tricks against Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid in all competitions. ‘Cholo’ hasn’t been able to crack the code inside Cristiano’s game, whether he plays for Real Madrid or Juventus. Kudos to the Portuguese star for this boss stat against Simeone. 

What do you think about ‘Cholismo’? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.